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ANNAN WATER, • . . . 605 


























FAIR Annie's ghost, 267 




GEORDIB, • • • • 654 

GILDEROY, • • • • 632 

GIL MORICB, .••••••••• 313 

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HUGHIE THE GRiEME, ........ 495 


JELLON GRAME, , . . . 335 



JOHNNIE OF BREADISLEE, . . • ... . '471 























LORD maxwell's GOOD-NIGHT, 593 






PRINCE ROBERT, • • • • 13 

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SIR HUGH L£ BLOND, ...*.... 347 



SIR PATRICK SPENS, ......... 368 
























THE CRUEL BROTHER, •.»«••.. 286 










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THE knight's ghost, 175 









THE miller's SON, . I39 


THE queen's marie, 509 








THE WIFE OP usher's WELL, 57 














YOUNG JOHNSTONE, .....«••• 277 

Yoxma RONALD, 146 


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Ballads may be described as short narrative poems, each 
celebrating some real or fancied event, and suitable for singing 
or chanting to some simple natural melody. They often are, 
but ought not to be, confounded with songs, which, properly 
speaking, are the more polished and artistic vehicles of " senti- 
ment, expression, or even description." * 

Ballads may therefore be reasonably regarded as the earlier, 
nay, probably, as the very earliest, form of literary composition,' 
and more especially as the earliest expression of the Historic 
Muse; an' opinion eloquently set forth and amply illustrated by 
Lord Macaulay, in the preface to his Lays of Ancient Borne. 

The same, or a similar opinion, appears to have commended 
itself to other distinguished writers and scholars, as the 
following quotations indicate. 

The Book of Jaaher, quoted by name in two of the Earlier 
Historic Books of The Bible, and probably still more largely 
incorporated in their narratives, is, by an eminent Biblical 
scholar and critic, described as " apparently a national collection, 
in the form of ballads, containing the record of great men and 
great deeds."' 

Homer, the historian of the Trojan War, " though the early 
poet of a rude age," writes Sir Walter Scott, " has purchased 
for the era he has celebrated, so much reverence, that not daring 
to bestow on it the term barbarous, we distinguish it as the 
heroic period ; " and though " no other poet (sacred and inspired 
authors excepted) ever did,'or ever will, possess the same influence 
over posterity, in so many distant lands, as has been acquired 
by the blind old man of Chios, yet we are assured that his 
works, coUected bv the pious care of Pisistratus, who caused 
to be united into their present form those divine poems, would 
otherwise, if preservea at all, have appeared to succeeding 

fenerations in the humble state of a collection of detached 
allads, connected only as referring to the same age, the same 

1 RitBon's Historical Essay on National Song, prefixed to English Songi. 

s "The Nanutiye Ballad we believe to be the oldest of all compositions; and we 
are not induced to alter our opinion by all that has been said of love and innocence, 
and of golden, pastoral, and patriarchal ages.**— B. Jamieeon, in Jllwtraiion* of 
fforiham AntiguUie*, Popular Ballads, Introduction, p. 237. 

» BfWcal CfcJopmdia, edited by John Eadie, D.D., LL.D., Ac, article " Jasher." 

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general subjects, and the same cycle of heroes, like the metrical 
poems of the Cid in Spain, or of Robin Hood in England." ^ 

Among the Latins, " In the middle of the third century 
B.C., we have a few trenchant relics of the Satuminian epic of 
NsBvius celebrating the main events of the first, and tiie more 
polished hexameters of Ennius celebrating the Second Punic 
War. But they are rather reflections after the event than 
incentives to action. Ennius, however, elsewhere alludes to 
the existence of older writers, or an earlier literature which had 
treated of the same or similar themes in a more popular style : 
and Cicero, in his ^ Brutus,' quoting the passage, laments the 
loss of those more primitive strains. From these and other 
passages Macaulay, building on a theory of Niebuhr's, has 
imagined that a whole series of Roman national ballads, . . • 
had existed and passed away previous to the date of the Punic 
Wars. He maintains that these early poems were expelled 
from poetic literature b^ the flowing tide of Greek influence 
(whicn passed over Latium as that of the Normans did over 
Englana), but that the substance of them is preserved in the 
more fanciful pages of Livy. ... 

" The first light that falls on the Gothic race all over Europe, 
by the shores of the Baltic, or under the shadow of the Hartz, 
reveals the old singers along with the old soldiers exalted by 
the same apotheosis into gods and heroes. The Norwegian 
chiefs took their harpers with them to battle, and when the 
Norse armies invaded England they used to pass free from 
camp to camp. 

"The earliest ballads — as the lays out of which grew the 
* Nibelungen Lied.' the * Song of Roland,' the * Death Song of 
Regner Ix^dbrog,' naif the Eddas^ [and] the old Norse legend of 
the * Sword Tyrfing^ , . belong to the Pagan period of our 
own history, and that of the countries with which we were 
most closely connected. 

"Their general character of wild defiance is admirably 
represented in Mr. Longfellow's * Challenge of Thor,' and Mr. 
Motherwell's * Sword Chaunt of Thorstein Raudi.' TBut] the 
Conquest broke the stream of our early minstrelsy, [and] the 
more elaborate Romance took the place of the Ballad among the 
higher circles." * 

The view expressed in the last sentence fully accords with 
that advanced by Mr. Motherwell, who argues, "that the 
Romance of Chivalry was the legitimate descendant of the 

1 Sir Walter Scott's Introdnctory Bomwrks on Popular Poetry, 6&, prefixed to 
MinHrtU^ o/the BcoUUh Border, edit 18S0. 

a ProfesBor Nichol, of Glasgow UnlTorsity, in a recent Lecture on "War Songs,*' 
as reported In the Glasgow Newspaper Press. 

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Heroic Ballad.^ The heroes whom the minstrels chose for their 
▼ersificationa, were nniformly selected from those worthies of 
antiquity whose names and famous actioos the traditions and 
ancient songs of the land still kept in remembrance. These, 
again, were occasionally supplanted by others who flonrished 
in more recent times ; and even contemporary warriors at last 
came in for their share of adulation, and of that glory with 
which the muse can arrest and halo an otherwise fleeting name. 
But the origin of Romantic' Fiction, instead of being thus sought 
for in the traditions of each particular land where it obtained, 
and being looked upon as the natural intellectual growth 
of that land, at a certain stage of its progress towards refine- 
ment and the courtesies of life ; and as, step by step, advancing 
from the simple narrative ballad to the more elaborate composi- 
tion, which embraced a variety of such narratives, and at length 
bourgeoned and branched out into all those complicated and 
fictitious adventures, and singular poetic creations, for which 
the Metrical Romance is distinguished, has, with much learning 
and ingenuity, been by different writers traced to a variety of 
opposite and contradictory sources. One hath assigned it a 
Scandinavian,' another an Arabian,* a third an Armorican 
origin;* while others have claimed this distinction for Nor- 

1 Dr. Leyden, on the other hand, supposes that "many of the wild romantio 
ballads whiiDh are still common in the Lowlands of Scotland, haTO the appearance of 
episodes which, in the progress of traditional recitation, hare been detached from 
the romances of which they originally formed a part"— (^mp/aynt, Preliminary 
Dlsaertatioo, p. 271. This mi^ haTo oocnrred in some instancoB, bat seemB to have 
been the exception, and the other the rule. 

1 " Under the head of Boxasttc, a phrase we are obliged to employ for lack of some- 
ttitng more significant and precise, may be ranged a numerous and hlghl/ interesting 
bodr of short metrical tales, chiefly of a tragic complexion, which, though possessing 
all the features of real incident and probably originating in fact, cannot now, after 
the lapse of many ages, be with certainty traced to any historical source, public or 
prirate. With these may also be classed that description of Ahgixrt Soko which 
treats of Incredible achieyemonts. and strange adTcntures by flood and field,— deals 
largely with the maryellous in all its multiform aspects,— «nd occasionally pours a 
brief but intense glare of supernatural light over those dim and untraTelled reahns 
of doubt and dread, whose every nook the giant superstition of elder days haa 
colonized with a prodigal profusion of mysterious and spiritual inhabitanta. And, 
In short, under this oomprehensiTe head, we must include CTerr legend relating to 
person, place, thing, or occurrence, to establish whose existence it would be vain to 
seek for other tftldenoe than that which popular tradition supplies."— Motherwell's 
MiHstrdiih Introduction, p. iv. 

Sir Walter Scott's definition of the word " Eomance " is :— " A flctitioufl narratire In 
prose or Terse, the Interest of which turns upon marvellous and uncommon incidents ; " 
but "the word * Romance,' in its original meaning, signifies merely one or other of 
the popular dialects of Europe, founded, as almost all those dialects were, upon the 
Boman tongue, that is, upon the Latin.*^— JSnay on Romance. First publlshea in the 
Bujpplement to the BH^lopKdla BHtanniea [1S34], and now inchided In hla 

' "Bj Mallet, "by his translator Bishop Percy, and by Plnkerton. 

* **By Waiborton, in his remarks on Lov^t Labour Lott, and supported with copious 
mngteatfons by Warton, in his Preliminary Diaaertatlon to the BUtorf of BngtUh 

* FaToved by Dr. Loyden in his Preliminary Dissertation to Tht Oomptaynt of 

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roandy and Provence."* ["And a later 83'^8tem, patronized by 
later authors, has derived theni) in a great measure, from the 
FragmenU of Classical Superstition which continued to be pre- 
served after the fall of the Roman empire."] " "To examine 
into the merit of these respective hypotheses is foreign from 
our present purpose ; but to ascribe to any^ one of them the sole 
origin of that stupendous fabric of poetical invention which 
delighted the Middle Ages, would be as foolish as the shep- 
herd's thought, who, after tracing with afifectionate fondness the 
windings of his slender native stream, till he found it termi- 
nate in the ocean sea, deemed the boundless expanse of waters 
before him no other than the accumulations of the small well- 
spring, which, in the solitude of the far uplands, he knew full well, 
did morning and evening hum its tiny song, and gash with the 
gladness of new-born life, in a silver-like thread, down the dark 
hill side. Each of the systems, it is trae, does in part account 
for this species of poetic compositions; but it would require 
them all blended together to obviate every objection which 
applies to each singly."* 

Nor would even this suffice, as the flood of light more 
recently thrown upon comparative philology and mythology by 
that distinguished scholar Max Mnller, and by other labourers 
in the same interesting and important field, reveals the broader 
and truer doctrine of later times, which carries back the date 
of much of this wide-spread traditionary lore, and assigns to it 
an origin prior to the disjunction of the different branches of 
our race from the one primeval stem.* 

Subsequent to such disjunctions, changes of scene and cir- 
cumstance introduced modifications and divergences resulting 
in the course of time in something like a Babel of tradition, 
which, age by age, grew greater and wider, until the traces 
of a common origin among the more divergent branches were 

^ ElUa, in the Introdactlon to hia Speeitnent 0/ Early English JIttriedl Romances, con- 
tendB that the Earliest Bomances, properly so called, vrere composed in Norman 
French bv minstrels pertaining to the coart of the Anglo-Xorman kings; while he 
regards the southern portion of Scotland as the birthplace of the English langoage, 
and the earliest Kngllwh Bomances as th^ productions of "Scottish nunstrols.** 

Sir Walter Scott, referring to this seeming paradox, remarks:— "Upon this 
hypothesis, it is curious to observe that, as the earliest French Bomances were 
written in England, so the earliest English Bomances were composed in Scotland." 

s Sir Walter Scott, in his Essay on Romance, MisceUane^nts Works, toI tL, p. 171. 

> Motfaerweirs Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. zxxr. 

4 Mr. Motherwell rises "to the height of this great argument" in the following 
passage:— "As to the original source fn>m whence these stories hare flowed, the 
reader need scaroelv be told, how utterl/ useless all conjecture becomes; the same 
stories, or but sli^tly varied, we find everywhere, and in every language, the 
popular vehicles of amusement or Instniotion to the people. Ck>untnes far separated 
hom each other, and having no aCQniiy of language, still preserve this identic in 
their popular tales; and where these have disappeared in a measure from the litera- 
ture of the people, we may rest assured that their vestiges can still bo traced in the 
legends of the nursery.*'- ^t>M<rtf<y, Introduction, ppi xxxiL-xxziii. See also Intro- 
duction to " Lord Bandal,** pott, p. 3i05. 

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all but lost. ' But by far the most fruitful source of confusion 
and mystification appears to have arisen from what seems to 
have been a common practice of the later bards, skalds, or 
minstrels — namely, the adaptation and application of the older 
stories and traditions to new persons and events — a practice, 
by the way, of which the careful reader will find several 
examples in this collection. Originality is a God-given gift 
conferred on few: but the capacity to imitate, to copy, or to 
reconstract more or less skilfully nnder varied forms and in 
new combinations from pre-existent materials, are qualities 
possessed by multitudes. Nor does this apply to bards or 
oallad-writers merely, as much of our current literature in 
eveiy department, and the bulk of our pulpit prelections, most 
amply and sadly testify. Literary paten work in the press, and 
mosaic discourses in the pulpit, are leading characteristics of 
this age of shoddy.' 

The use made of the old material gleaned or pilfered, and 
re-constructed or re-dressed, is usually abuse of such a nature 
as finds its fitting analogy in the conduct of such Goths as 
ignorantly and wantonly lay sacrilegious hands on the remains 
of some stately Old Edifice, in order that they may, without 
much expenditure of labour or money, construct a barn, or rear 
a dry-stone wall. 

These remarks are not directed against honest work in 
the form of compilation, or the introduction of quotation 
honestly acknowledged, but against those counterfeiters who 
seek to stamp their own impress on the coinage of other men's 
brains — ^those pilferers or forgers who take or convey over 
to themselves the intellectual property of other and better 
endowed minds. At the same time, it must be acknow- 
ledged that originality becomes in every succeeding a^e much 
more difEicult*, mental phenomena, or the principles of human 
ikought, as developed by the intellectual iaculties; of feeUng^ 
as manifested in the emotions and passions; or of tmU, as 

1 " With respect to vulgar poetry, proserred by tradition," writes Bitaon, "It ia 
almost imposslblo to dlsdHmlnate the ancient from the modera, the tme from the 
false. Obsolete phraaes wiU be perpetually changing for those better anderstood; 
and what the memory loses the invention most supply. So that a performance of 
genius and merit, as ti&e purest stream becomes polluted by the foulness of its 
chaimrt, may in time be degnded to the vilest Jargon. Tradition, in short, is a 
species of aldiemy which oonverts gold to lead. 

" He, however, who should have the patience to collect, the judgment to arrange, 
and the integrity to publish the best pieces of this description, would probably 
deserve the thanks of the antiquary and the man of taste; but would more probably 
excite the malicious attacks and scurrilous language of a few despicable hirelings, 
who, to the diigrace of criticism, of letters, and liberality, are permitted to dictate 
their crude and superficial ideas as the criterion of literary eminence."— «860<uA 
fiony, Bittorical E»say, voL i., pp. IzzzL-lzxxiL 

s If the Wise Uan were alive at the present day, he might reiterate with greater 
force and propriety than ever, " The thing that hath been, it ia that which shall be ; 
<uid that which is done ia that which shall be done: and ihen i* no new Vnng und^r 
the son,'* ftc^ &Q.^Eccl€*iafUi^ chap, i., Yerses 9-10. See also note, pwt^ v- 87a. 

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displayed in the actions; as well as physical phenomena, 
as exhibited in the material universe, are, in their general 
characteristics, the same in every age, and consequently 
available to those who had, or have, the intuition and 
opportunity first to use them; priority of appropriation 
conferring a right of possession, and constituting in this, 
as in other matters, a material advantage. The general truth 
thus indicated has been admirably and elegantly expressed 
by Sir Walter Scott, with special reference to poetic themes 
and similes : — "The earlier poets," says he, "have tne advantage, 
and it is not a small one, of having the first choice out of the 
stock of materials which are proper to the art; and thus they 
compel later authors, if they would avoid slavishly imitating 
the fathers of verse, into various devices, often more ingenious 
than elegant, that they may establish, if not an absolute claim 
to originality, at least a visible distinction betwixt themselves 
and their predecessors. Thus it happens^ that early poets 
almost uniformly display- a bold, rude, original cast of genius 
and expression. They have walked at free-will, and with un- 
constramed steps, aJong the wilds of Parnassus, while their 
followers move with constrained gestures and forced attitudes, 
in order to avoid placing their feet where their predecessors 
have stepped before them. The first bard who compared his 
hero to a lion struck a bold and congenial note, though the 
simile, in a nation of hunters, be a very obvious one; but every 
subsequent poet who shall use it, must either struggle hard 
to give his lion, as heralds say, with a difference, or lie under 
the imputation of being a servile imitator." * 

It may be reasonably inferred that the closer and more 
numerous the instances of afiinity between the traditions of 
any two or more nations to each other, or vice versd, are, so in 
proportion will be their more immediate or remote identity as 
a conmiunity. 

Keeping this preliminary basis in view, let us now proceed to 
inquire into the origin of the ample, rich, and varied store of 
traditionary Ballad Lore which pertains to Scotland, or, to 
speak more precisely, to the Lowland Scots. 

As is well known to every one who has paid any attention to 
early Scotish History, the origin and language, or languages, of 
the Caledonians, Picts, and Scots, have formed the fruitful 
themes of much learned disquisition and vehement controversy. 

It forms no part of the writer's plan to trace elaborately, to 
examine minutely, or to discuss virulently the evidence pro 
and con advanced by the respective advocates of the Celtic or 

1 Introductory BenHirkB on Popnlar Po«try, prefixed to Scott's iiiminUPt TOL 
L, p. 6, edii 1880, aud since. 

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the Gothio origin of the nation or nations known ander the 
designations named above. Nor is it necessary to do so. 
It is qaite sufficient for us to know that the earliest dawn of 
Scotish History reveals to the student of its early annals two 
apparently different races, speaking two different languages, 
occupying, the one the North-western, and the other tiie 
Eastern and Southern portions of the country, the former speak- 
ing a Celtio and the other a Gothic language; that the relative 
positions thus disclosed continued to subsist during the various 
wars and mutations which the country has passed through; 
and that they still continue to exist down to the present day, 
although, as is well known, the Lowlanders of the East and 
South nave, like an advancing tide, slowly but steadily enlarged 
their boundaries by encroachments on the territories of the no 
less heroic and chivalrous Highlanders of the North- West. 

It would ill become a modern Scot, in whose veins the blood 
of both those ancient and distinguished races probably mingles 
and courses, to institute odious comparisons between them, or 
to exalt one to the disparagement of the other. Such an un- 
grateful task is, however, fortunate! v altogether foreign to the 
f>urpose of this Essay, which has, if not purelv and solelv, at 
east more immediately to do with the Ballaos preserved by 
the Lowland Scots. 

Affinity of language, of physical and mental characteristics, 
and of Folk or Traditionary Lore, all concur in identifying the 
Lowlanders of Scotland with the Northern or Scandinavian 
branch of the ^reat Gothic family, which in the fifth and suc- 
ceeding centuries subverted the Roman empire and established 
Gothic kingdoms, not only over the whole of Northern and 
Western Europe, but also on the North-western shores of 
Africa. But m addition to such positive evidence of the 
most direct and convincing kind, we may add the negative 
evidence furnished by the fact, that Fingal and the other heroes 
of Ossian, as well as the other Traditions or Traditionary Stories 
current among the Gaelic Celts, find no place whatever in the 
popular traditions of the Lowlanders. The remains of Cymric 
traditions, such as of Arthur and the Knights of his Round Table, 
are likewise scanty, scattered, and obscure.^ Although it is 
quite possible that the New-year*s Mummers, who in the South- 

X A few Utenry notices oocnr in fhe works of Sir David Lindsay, fte:, regarding 
**Oowmaomome," '^Fynmafcooiil," ''Arthour," and ''(Hwane." 

The following onrions referenoes to two of fhoae heroes oocor in the CronitlU of 
iBooftofid.*— "It is said that Fynmakcoule, the sonne of Ckwlns Soottlaman, was In 
fhir dayee: ane man of huge statuore, of zviL eabits of hicht He was ane gret 
himter, ana rloht terribU, for his huge quantite, to the pepill: of qnhome ar mony 
▼nkar fabillis amang us, nocht unlike to thir fabilis that are rehersit of King 
Arthnre, and becans his dedis is nocht anthorist be anthentik aathorls, I will rehers 
na thing thairof."— vSeoent Bakt, chap. 18. 

^" Arthure " and "The AQond Tft1)ll" are also referred to in the same work— A'iiil 
Aiie, chap. 11. 

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west of Scotland, the old home of the Scotish CymnV are 
designated " Galatians," or " Galashins," may derive their name 
from "Galashin,"* who is said to have been the brother of the 
supposed hero of the ballad of " Kemp Owyne " (p. 21), and 
consequently nephew to King Arthur ; yet it is somewhat sin- 
gular to find the term " Kemp " prefixed to the name of the 
hero; a circumstance which renders it all but certain that the 
Ballad referred to has come to us from a Scandinavian source. 

To Robert Jamieson belongs the honour of being the first to 
point out " the singular coincidence which exists betwixt the 
ballads of Scotland and those of Denmark and Sweden, not 
only in their incidents, but also in those characteristic 
peculiarities of phraseology and expression which distinguish 
our Traditionary Songs. 

"To those fond of tracing the obvious connection thus existing 
in the traditions and popular poetry of countries long separated 
from each other, the writings of Mr. Jamieson must ever prove 
both pleasing and profitable ; and there are few who know any- 
thing of the subject, on which he has bestowed so much attention 
and reflected so much light, but will readily subscribe to almost 
every one of the philosophic and ingenious views he has so well 
expressed in the Dissertation which precedes his masterly 
translations. To point out some of the striking resemblances 
between the Scottish and Scandinavian Ballad, it is only 
necessary to refer the reader to the translation of * Skion Annie,* 
given in Popular Ballads, &c.,' for comparison with the Ballad of 
'Fair Annie,' founded on the same incidents (jpostf p. 103), 
To the ballads, * Young Child Dyring' (in Illtutrations, &c., page 

1 Mr. Jamieson appears to identify them with the Cimbri of the Cimbric Oherson- 
csus. Others however, contend that they were of the same race as those who are 
now styled Welsh. If the latter, their entire disappearance from the Sonth-west of 
Scotland and North of England, is, to say the least, remarkable. 

s The speech with which he nsnally introduces himself is in these words :— 
'' Here comes I GMashin, 
Galashin is my name. 
Sword and backler by my side, 
I hope to win the game.*' 

s Popular Ballads and Songs, fraa Traditions, Manuscriptt, and Searu Editions^ 
with Translations of Similar Pieces from the Ancient Danish Ltmgua{^ and a feip 
Originals by (.'<« Editor, Bobert Jamieson, A.M. and F.A.S., Edinburgh, 1800, 2 
yols. 8vo. 

The work passed through the press while its editor was resident on the Con- 
tinent; and the first intimation of his "discovery" is contained in a letter written 
at "lUga, Dec 81, old style, a.d. 1805-6," and prefixed to his translation of " Skioon 
Anna,*' voL iL, p. 99. 

Tbo^ fuiu^r, more matans^ %u<i accEirute result of his researches may be found in 
h(ia tc'pidm\ iia^ic^ and Iicfmiml*c IktifudSi translated from the Northern Languages, 
mih ^oux ami fUttstrtitimti, by iL Jumlqeon. A-M. and P.A.a, which forms Mr. 
Jjimieaoa'tt contribiitioo to jHuMtrdiiufis of Northern Antiquities, from the earlier 
3>utonic and Scfindinnriafi Umnuncfn t Icing an Alstract of the Book of Heroes and 
Mirtiungen ifliy, vith Trtmjtfuiions of ifeifical Tales, from the Old German, Danish, 
ifmdish md hlnndk Lunffaami, Edfnt»argb, 1814, 4to. This valuable work was |h0 
Jdlat]j20diictton of llttn j Weber, JUobcrt Jamieson, and Sir Walter Scott. 

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336), and * Catherine Janfarie' {post, page 85). To *Ingefrccl 
and Gudruno' (Illustrations^ page 340), tbe subject of which 
is the same with that of *Co8patrick,* *Bothwell,' or *Gil 
Brenton * (post, pages 222-8). To * Ribolt and Guldborg,' page 
317, whose affinity to the ' Child of Elle,' *Erlington,' and the 
'Douglas Tragedy,' cannot be mistaken, (post, pages 26-34, 
&c.) To *Sir Stig and Lady Torelild,' page 344, which re- 
sembles * Willie's Lady» (post, page 18). To *Sir Wal and 
Lisa Lyle,' * Fair Midel and Kirsten Lyle,* which ballads find a 
counterpart in a Scottish ballad called 'Leisome Brand,' though 
their catastrophes differ" * (see post, page 59). 

Sir Walter Scott also refers to Mr. Jamieson's Popular 
Ballads, &c., in the following terms: — 

" This work, which was not greeted by the public with the 
attention it deserved, opened a new discovery respecting tho 
original source of the Scottish Ballads. Mr. Jamieson's ex- 
tensive acquaintance with the Scandinavian literature enabled 
bim to detect not only a general similarity betwixt these and 
the Danish Ballads preserved in the Kiempe Viser, an early 
collection of heroic ballads published in that language [1591 
and 1695], but to demonstrate that, in many cases, the stories 
and songs were distinctly the same, — a circumstance which no 
antiquary had hitlierto so much as suspected." * 

And yet, in the face of the circumstantial account given by 
Motherwell, and the approval and acquiescence expressed by 
both him and Sir Walter Scott, as just quoted, and by him- 
self, as undernoted,' Dr. Robert Chambers had the assurance 
to pen the following grossly inaccurate statement : — 

" Robert Jamieson found in the KcBmpe Viser, a Danish collec- 
tion of ballads, published in 1695, one resembling the Scottish 
ballad of Fair Annie (otherwise called Lady Jane)] and on this 
ground he became convinced that many of our traditionary 
ballads were of prodigious antiquity, though they had been 
intermediately subjected to many alterations. 

" Mr. Jamieson's belief seems remarkably ill-supported ; and 
as it has never obtained any adherents among Scottish ballad 
editors, I feel entitled to pass it over with but this slight 
notice." * 

1 Motherwell's MtMlrdty^ Introdaction, p. Ixxxix. 

s Sir Walter Scott's Introdnctory Bomarks on Popular Poetry, MinsirtJsy of the 
Scottish Border, Tol. iL, p. 8L Edit 1830, and since. See also post, p. 103. 

» "The Tale of Fair Annie," wrote Dr. (then simply Mr.) Chambers, with evident 
aQnsion to Mr. Jamieson's researches, " is found, with many others, in tho great 
Danish Collection caUed the Kmnpe Viser, which was pubUshed hi 16i^''— Scottish 
JktUads, Ac, ^'Xhtroductory," p. fi. 

* Edinburgh Papers, by Robert Chambers, P.E.S.E., P.S.A.S., F.aS^ F.L.S., &0, 
Tht Jtomtmtic Scetiish Batlads^ Their Epoch and Authorship, 1869. 

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The reader who has perused the extracts from Motherwell and 
Scott, which precede that from Dr. Chambers, will not require 
to have the erroneous assumption of the statement made by 
the latter specifically exposed. It may, however, prove 
interesting, if not instructive, to note the ballads which 
Dr. Robert Chambers manifested such a Quixotic anxiety to 
lay as a literary guerdon on the tomb of Lady Wardlaw, the 
reputed authoress of " Hardyknute " (p. 357). They are as 
follows:' — 

"The Lass o' Lochryan" [p. 1]. 

" Willie and May Margaret ; or, The Drowned Lovers" [p. 9]. 

"The Douglas Tragedy'' [p. 29]. 

"Clerk Saunders'' [p. 44]. 

" Sweet WiUiam's Ghost " [p. 60]. 

" The Clerk's Twa Sons o' Owsenford" [p. 53]. 

«LadyMaisry"[p. 74]. 

"The Gay Gos-hawk" [p. 93]. 

"Fair Annie "[p. 103]. 

"Fause Foodrage" [p. 128]. 

"Tamlane"[p. 186], 

"BurdEllen'^[p. 248]. 

" Sweet Willie and Fair Annie" [p. 261]. 

" Young Hun tin" [" Earl Richard " or " Lord William," p. 270] . 

*• Edward 1 Edward ! " [p. 293]. 

"GilMorrice"«[p. 313]. 

1 The references within brackets are to the pages of this work. 

s "In the middle of the last centnry/* writes Dr. Chambera, "appeared two 
editions of a brochure containing the now well-known ballad of 'Oil fiorrioe;' the 
date of the second was 1755. fteflxed to both was an advertisement setting forth 
that the preserration of this poem was owing to a lady, who favoured the printers 
with a copy, as it was carefolly collected from the moaUis of old women and 
nurses. .... Who was the 'lady ' that favoured the printers with the copy? 
I strongly suspect that the reviser was La<ly Wardlaw, and that the poem was 
communicated to the printers either by her or by some of her near relations." 
— 7A« Romantic Scottish Ballads^ &c., p. IL 

J*^jw» u lady Wspdkaw died in 1727, the "'^^\i^ " ffmld hardly be commimicated 
by b<*Jf, unkM "llie prtntorB'* wiFrti *' faxom^d "^ wTth It through the medium of 
irplrttr«a|)(|sio§f At ta» samv Hoie i\ ia quit^ DTldent, as stated by Bums, who 
apntfe&i^ redon Uh it ^o dooa nut <\;a)^\4? tram, a iv-^mmunication of Captain 
Blddi^B; ^ihat the prevent bcUiul Is a modeim I'lViupo^ition; perhaps not moch 
abdr^ Uie ago cf the mldrlk of thi> hut c^Dtuiy; at leojiat, I should be glad to see or 
heAf of a tQpj Qi the pn?*eut wcni* pri or \q W^^ That It w as taken from an old ballad«d 'ChiM Maariea,' Eow I ret, 1 Km tacUiiftd to bclEeve; but the present one may 
be daoad wltk 'Hianljlninte,' 'EeiuMtlL' vDcm^nxt*' "Lot^ Woodhouseleei,' 'Lord 
Litln^toni' *BtomC(rSft fffiOEWrtOii i TiMisiouI 'Tb* Di'^th of Monteith,' and many 
oHwr |tf«»4wi<l«»» »blii?hli*Te toi*n f wallftwoa bjf numy n^ders as ancient fragments 

The sobetantial aocoracy of this opinion is borne out by the more Fpodflc state- 
ment made on the authority of Sir Walter Scott, and approved by Motherwell [jiost^ 
p. 3153. But whether any one of the ruder, although in some respects more vigorous 
versions, more recently printed, can be regarded as the original used by the reviser, 
or who that personage may be, are matters which, like the ftuthgrship Qt Junius' L<.Uer$t 
are never Usely to be determined. 

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"The Jew's Daughter" [p. 862]. 
"Sir Patrick Spens"* [p. 368]. 
"Young Waters " [p. 454]. 
*' Johnnie of Braidislee " [p. 471]. 
" Mary Hamilton " [p. 609]. 
"Edom 0' Gordon"* [p. 616]. 

1 Dr. OtaAmben objects to the uitiqtdty of the ballad of " Sir Patrick Speiu*' on 
uconnt of " the -want of any ancient manuBcript, the abeence of the least trait of 
an ancient style of composition, the palpable modemness of fhe diction: for 
example, ' Our ship most sail the faem,' a glaring specimen of the poetical language 
of the reign of Queen Anne," p. 7. And again. '* Sir Patrick tells his fnends 
before starting on his voyage, 'Our ship must sail the faem; * and In the descrip- 
tion of the consequences of nis shipwreck, we find, *Mony uras the feather-bed that 
flattered on the faem.* No old poet would use foam as an eauiyalent for the sea; 
but it was just such a phrase as a poet of the era of Pope would lore to use In that 
Ben8e."~2%e Romantie Scottish Ballad*^ &c, p. 28. 

As to the first objection. Dr. Chambers, to be logically consistent^ ought to deny 
the possibility of all transmission by oral tradition, which, as might be easily shown, 
he does not do. Sea posL, p. 623. 

As to the second objection, style, words, and phrases are. In oral transmission, 
somewhat like a shifting quicksand, and liable to such constant change, that to 
found thereon an argument either pro or <ron, resembles the conduct of " the 
foolhdi man who buUt nis house upon the sand. " And as to the alleged "palpablo 
modenmess of the diction," as exemplified In the use of the word " faem, it is 
only necessary to dte the two lines of an old song, as given by Gawin Douglas in 
one of the prologues to his celebrated Scotish translation of YirgU's ^mU^ which 
appeared in IdlS. The lines referred to are~ 

" The schip sails ower the saut fame, 
IVill bring tblr merchandis and my leman hame." 

s Ourionsly enough, Mr. Motherwell, who in the main is as reliable as Dr. 
Chambers is the reverse, specially refers to *' Edom o' Gordon," as an example of 
"^ how excellently well tradition serves as a substitute for more e£Qclent and less 
mutable channels of communicating the things of past ages to posterity. In proof 
of this, it Is only necessary to Instance the well-known ballad of * Edom o* Gordon,' 
which Is tradition^y preserved in Scotland, and of which there is fortunately 

extant a copy in an £ogliBh MS., apparently coeval with the date of the subject of 
the bcdlad. The title <A this copy is '^Captain Care.' We owe its publication to the 
late Mr. Bitson, In whose Ancient Songs it win be found, printed from a MS. in the 
Cottonian Library. Between the text of the traditionary version and that of the 
MS., a BUght inspection will satisfy us that the variations are neither very numerous 
nor very Important This is taking the MS. as the standard of the original text, 
altbongh It can scarcely be considered as such, seehig it has been transcribed by an 
EngllBh clerk, who, perhaps, took it down from the imperfect recitation of some 
wandering Scottish minstrel, and thereafter altered it to suit his own ideas of 
poetical beauty.** And in a note, Mr. Motherwell adds, *' Bitson styles it the 
undoubted original of the Scottish Imllad, and one of the few specimens now extant 
of the proper old English ballad, as composed, not by a Grub Street author for the 
ntallB of London, but to be chaunted up and down the kingdom by the wandeiing 
Minstrels of the North Cmtntrie, But here the critio has gratuitously assumed, that 
the name which appears at the end of it, as the copyist, is also that of the author.*' 
-^MiiuirtUyy IntruducUou, pp. iL-ill. 

Begaiding this ballad. Dr. Chambers writes :->"* Edom o' Gordon' Is only a 
modem and hnproved version of an old ballad which Percy found in his Folio MS., 
under the name of Captain Adam Carre, ... All that can be surmised here, is, 
that the revision was the work of the same pen with the pieces here cited-«s 
wltoeas ^or example, the opening stanzas :— 

*' It fell about the Martinmas. 

"When the wind blew shrill and caald,* 
Said Edom o' Gordon to his men,— 
* We maun draw to a hauld.' 

oDr. Chambers's note is:— 

" Tooog Watcn " open* In the same maxuier :— 

" Aboui Yttlc, wlion th« wlad blew cool I" 

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"The Bonuie Earl of Murray " [p. 531]. 


"The Heir of Linne" (Scotish version) [p. 641].* 
" All of which," aaya Dr. ChamberB, "besides others which must 
rest unnamed, bear traces of the same authorship." 

The reader may perceive (see note H, preceding page) that 
Dr. Chambers regards a certain hackneyed repetition of stock 
phraseology as originating with and peculiar to Lady Wardlaw's 
alleged imitations of the ancient ballads, which phraseology 

** * And what a hauld shall we draw tUl, 
My merry men and me ? 
We will gae to the house o' Bodes, 
To see that fair ladye.* 

** The ladye stood on her castle wa\ 
Beheld baith dale and down; 
There she was 'ware of a host of men, 
Come riding towards the town. * 

•• • Oh, see ye not, my merry men a', t 
Oh, see ye not what I see ? ' "— ^. 

Now, let it be observed that stanza 8 and the first two linos of stanza 4, as here 
quoted, do not occur in the version of the ballad first issued at Glasgow, in 1705. 

And to show the justice of the estimate here expressed, as to the relative merits 
of Mr. Motherwell and Dr. Chambers, it may be sufficient to quote the first five 
stanzas of the version referred to by the former, as published by Mr. Bitson from 
the MS. in the Cotton Library, which stanzas the Intelligent reader may, if ho 
or she chooses, compare with we stanzas and lines quoted above, and then form 
his or her own conclusion. 
The first five stanzas given by Mr. Bitson are as follows :— 
" It befell at Martynmas, 

When wether waxed colde, 

Captaine Care saide to his men, 

* We must go take a holde/ 

** 'Hallle, master, and wether you will, 
And wether ye like best' 
* To the castle of Crecrynbroghe : 
And there we will take our reate. 

•* * I know wher is a gay castle, 
Is build of lyme and stone. 
Within there IS a gay Iodic, 
Her lord is ryd from horn.' 

" The ladle lend on her castle-walle, 

She loked upp and downe ; 
There was she wure of an host of men. 
Come riding to the towne. 

" * Come you hether, my meri men all. 
And look what I do see; 
Yonder is ther a host of men, 
I musen who they bee.'" 

X Dr. Chambers ought to have known that the "Scotch Heir of Linne" was not 
" recovered by Mr. J. H. Dixon/* but by Mr. Peter Buchan. It appears, however, 
for the first time, in the Seottith J^aditumal Va'sians of Ancient Balladt, edited by Mr. 
Dixon, for thi Percy SocUly. 

Dr. Chambers's notes are :— 

* We haT« M8& the mme dflMilptloa in both " Yoonf Watexs'* and "The Bonnie Etfl of 
f Oompan fUi with " ttr Fatriok Bpenoe."— 

" lUk baete^ m«k bakte, mj mcny men s'," 

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really does not occar in the version of the ballad, " Edom o* 
Gordon," which he uses as the basis of an argument where- 
with to bring " Young Waters," &c., within his charmed circle. 
But as the sceptical theory of Dr. Robert Chambers has been 
fully, perhaps even too verbosely, answered by Mr. Nerval Clyne 
of Aberdeen,* and by Mr. James Button Watkins of this City;* 
as it has been since virtually abandoned by its advocate; as 
the Introductions prefixed to the respective ballads, taken in 
connection with what has been here said, quoted, and referred 
to, will enable each reader to form his or her own judgment on 
the matter; and, as the space at disposal is somewhat limited, 
the writer feels " entitled to pass it over with but this slight 
notice," which is perhaps more than it is "entitled" to 

Most of the ballads assigned to Lady Wardlaw by Dr. 
Chambers belong to the class of Romantic Ballads included in 
Part First of this work. A few, however, belong to the class of 
ballads usually designated Historical,' which Tatter form the 
larger portion of the ballads comprehended in Part Second. 

The Historical and other ballads included in Part Second, are, 
as nearly as it can possibly be made out, or inferred, arranged 
in Chronological order, an arrangement which is quite im- 
possible as regards the ballads contained in Part First. Some 
attempt, however, has been there made to group together ballads 
similar in theme or in treatment, or to connect them by refer- 
ences in the respective Introductions prefixed to the individual 

I The Romantic Scottish Salladt andthe Lady Wardlaio Bereiy, By Norral Olyne, Aber- 
deen, MDCocux. As shown by Dr. Gbambera's notes to the stanzas qnoted by him from 
*' Edom o' Qordon," and therefore as ac<nirately stated by Mr. Norval Clyne, ^* He "--t.e., 
Dr. 0.—" dwells strongly on points of resemblance between the ballads in dispate, 
and argnes somewhat in this fashion. Komber om has expressions similar to those 
in 'Hardyknnte;* number tvo contains lines or words wonderfally like some in 
number on$; number three has, in a similar way, a resemblance to numbers one and 
tw>; and so forth through the whole twenty-five pieces. Take away number one 
therefore— to wit, *Sir Patrick Spence,' the comer-etono of the stricture raised by 
Mr. Chambers— and Mr. Chambers's logic [1], unsound enough before, becomes too 
defecttve to be maintained with gravity. "-.-(P. 18.) 

It is painful to be under the necessity of passing oensure on one who has dome so 
much on behalf of a healthy popular literature. 

s Early ScoUieh BaUadt. By James Button Watkins, Member of the ArohaMloglcal 
Society of Olasgow. Being a revised paper read at a meeting of the Society, 8th 
January, 1866.--Printed, Glaagow, mdccclxvil 

> This elasa, according to Mr. Motherwell's definition, "Embraces all those 
narrative songs which derive their origin from historical facts, whether of a nublio 
or private nature. The subjects of these are national or personal conflicts, family 
feuds, publie or domestio transactions, personal adventure, or local incidents, which, 
tn some shape or other, have fallen under the observation of contemporary ana 
authentic annalists. In general, these compositions may be considered as coeval 
with the events which they commemorate; out, with this class as with that which 
has been styled the Romantic ballad, it is not to be expected that, in their progress 
to our day, they have undergone no modification of form, and these very oonnder- 
able, from that in which they were originally produced and promulgated among the 
people.*'— ifdiiKretoy, Introduction, p. u. 

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The Introductions referred to preclude the necessity of any- 
further reference to the ballads included in this collection. 
A few scattered notices regarding some Historical Ballads 
referred to and quoted by Hume of Godscroft, but which 
appear to be now lost, followed by excerpts of the most 
interesting passages in The Complaynt of Scotland^ a passing 
reference to the Maitland and Bannatyne MSS., and some 
account of our principal printed collections, may, however, be 
deemed interesting. 

Of the notices occuring in Hume's work,* probably the 
earliest, in point of time, "relates to William, brother of King 

The next relates how; "The Lord of Liddesdale, being at his 
pastyme hunting in Attrick Forest, is beset by William Earle of 
Douglas, and such as he had ordained for that purpose, and there 
assailed, wounded, and slain, beside Gales wood, in the year 1353, 
upon a jealousie, that the Earle had conceived of him with his 
Lady, as the report goeth, for so sayes the old song: — 

* The CoantoBse of Doaglas, oot of her bowro sho came, 
And loudly there that she did call; 
'* It is for the Lord of Liddeedale, 
That I let all these teajres down fall." ' 

The song also declareth how shee did write her love letters to 
Liddesdale, to disswade him from that hunting. It tells like- 
wise, the manner of the taking of his men, and his own killing 
at Galeswood, and how he was carried the first night to 
Linden Eirk, a mile from Selkirk, and was buried within the 
Abbacie of Melrose." * 

A stanza of an ancient ballad relating to the Battle of Otter- 
bourne (fought 1388), may be found quoted, poH, p. 426. 

The same writer furnishes the following stanza: — 

"Edinburgh Castle, town, a;Dd tower, 

Gk)d grant thoa ainke for ainne ; 
And that even for the black dinner, 

Earl Dooglas gat therein." 

1 History of the Family of Douglas, by David Home of Qodscroft, 1G44. 

s One of the douMepereM of Charlemagne, and who "conquest," says Bellenden, "be 
his manheid and prowes, sic fame that he was oalllt The Knieht but Reproehe m all 
bis weria, and got sio riches and landis that he was gretoml/ renownlt amang the 
princiM of France/* " It is he," says Hume of Oodscrof t, ** wno is named. In songs 
made of him, Scottish Qilmore,*' which words are simply Home's rendering of the 
followiog words of Major,— ^ a notiratibtu^vulgaliter SeotisgUmor vocatttr. "May 
we presume then,*' inquires Finlay, "that since the expression, mtlgaliter voeatur^ 
when applied to Qilmore, appeared to Hume*8 mind equivalent to Ms named in 
songs,* these songs must have been still current In the days of the latter historian; 
or can we only conclude, that at the time when Major wrote (about 1508) he was 
still a popular hero in Scotland ? "■— Bellenden's Boeee 10 buke, cap. 4. CHume's] HUtory 
<^ (he Family cfDouglaSy Major, lib. 11, cap. IB. Finlay's Ballads^ to! i., p. 12. 

s Sir Walter Scott quotes the aboye^ and then intimates that "some fragments of 
this ballad are bUU current, and will be found in the ensuing work," Border 
Minttrelsy, vol. i., Introduction, p. 2311. Sir Walter must, howeyer, iiare overlooked 
the fragments he refers to, as they do not appear in hia work. 

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which Btanza is supposed to be the sole surviving relic of d 
liallad referring to what Motherwell justly styles "the 
infamous murder of "William, Sixth Earle of Douglas [and his 
brother], in the Castle of Edinburgh, in 1440." But not, as he 
states, " by the hands of his sovereign." Although William, 
the Eighth Earl, fell as infamously, and in violation of a safe 
conduct, " by the hands of the same sovereign " (1452), in what 
has since been known as the Douglas room of Stirling Castle. 

Hume has also "preserved the beginning of a scoffing rhyme 
made" with reference to the fatUe attempt of the Earl of 
Argyle "to enter the Merse as lieutenant of his Sovereign" 
(1528). The lines quoted are, — 

"The Earl of Argyle is bound to ride 

From the border of Edgebacklin brae ; ' 
And &U his h&bergeons him beside, 

Each man upon a sonk of strao. 
They made their vow that they would slay." 

There issued from the press of "Walter Chepman and 
Andrew Myllar, Edinburgh, in the year M.D.viir.," a series of 
early Tracts or Chap-books in black letter, forming the earliest 
specimens of popular poetry known to have issued from the 
Scotish press. But the only portion of this series falling 
specially within the scope of our subject, is 

" A Gest of Robyn Hode," referred to, posty p. 322. 

The Complaynt of Scotland (1549) furnishes us with a curious 
and interesting list of the " Stories and . . fiet taylis, . . 
sum . in prose, and sum . in verse: . [quhilk] the 
Scheiphirdis,* thir vyuis and saruSdis [reherseit] ane by ane." 

[Omitting those derived from the Greek and Roman classics; 
those which appear to be derived from Norman-French romances; 
as well as those by Chaucer, Dunbar, and Gavin Douglas; the 
following may be cited: — ] 

"the tayle of the volfe of the varldis end" [postj p. 185]. 

" the taiyl of the reyde eyttyn vitht the thre heydis " [porf, 
p. 199], 

"the prophysie of merlyne" [post^ pp. 208-9, 882, and 385-7]. 

" the tayl of the giantis that eit quyk men " [post, p. 200], 

" on fut by fortht as i culd found." [Unknown.] 

1 " Edgebnoklin,*' near Mnsselbtffgh.— Scott 

&skine Nic^ and the Punch artists.] He also relates how '* the prenciiukl Bc^elp- 
hfrde maid ane orisone tyll al the laif of his compangzons " [p. 661 ; wherein he 
**lndoGtryne his nsrchtbours aa he had stndeit ptholeme, aneroia, arlstotel, galien, 
ypocritea or Cloero, quhilk var expert praotlclans in metbamatic art," and yet 
Btr»nsely enough this learned "Schelphlrde" is described as '^anemstlopastonr 
of bestiajite, distitut of vrbanite, and of speoolatlone of natural phUosophe" [p. 97]. 

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"vaUace." "thebruce."* 

" the tail of the thre futtit dog of narrouay." [Unknown.] 

^^ the tail quhou the kyng of est mure land mareit the kyngis 

dochter of vest mure land *' [postj p. 128], 
" Skail gillenderson the kyngis sone of skellye."* 
" the tail of Sir euan arthours knycht " [post, p. 21]. 
"Arthour knycht he raid on nycht vitht gyltin spur and 

"the tail of syr valtir the bald leslye." * 
" the tail of the pure tynt." * 
"robene hude and litil ihone." • 
" the tayl of the zog tamlene " [post, p. 186], 
" the ryng of the roy Robert.'* ' 
" syr egeir and syr gryme." * 

1 Henry the Minstrel, and Barbonr. appear to have done for the Scotish Uerora 
what Pislstratos is credited with havmg done for those of Greece, who are 
celebrated in the Homeric Rhapsodies.— ^ee ante, p. ix., and ooit, p. 414^ 

> Mr. Pinkerton sugffests, and Mr. Motherwell sapposes, that the outline of this 
tale is "to be found In wintown."— C^-onyW/, aj>. 1168. 

* Levden, in the Prellminarv Dissertation prefixed to his edition of the Complayni 
ofScoUand (p. 229), mentions uiat he had heard these lines " repeated in a nursery 
tale, of which I only recollect," says he, " the following ridiculous Terses :— 

* Chick my nacKiel chick my naggiel 
How mony miles to Aberdeagie? 
'Tis eight, and eight, and other eight; 
Well no win there wi* candle light'" 

4 " Sir Walter Lesley accompanied hia brother Norman to the east, to Mslst Peter, 
King of Cyprus; where, according to Fordnn, Cceperunt civitattm AUxandrinam 
Umport vlitmi regit David.'* Leyden. Ibid, p. 230. But "Mr. Finlay seeks to connect 
with this a tradition preseryed by Verstegan, in his Restitution of Decayed InteUi- 
gtnee. Loud., 1634, p. 292: *A combat being once fought in Scotland, between a 
gentleman of the family of Leslyes, and a Imlght of Hungary^ wherein the Scottish 

gentleman was victor; in memory thereof, and of the place where it happened, 
lese ensuing verses doe in Scotland yet remaine :— 

* Betweene the lesseley, and the mare, 
He slew the Knight, and left him there.* 

Mackenzie, In his life of John Lesley, Bishop of Ross, gives a different account of 
this tradition,— namely, that the familv of Lesley sprung from Bartholemy Lesley, a 
Hungarian gentleman who accompanied QueenMargaret from Hungiuj to England, 
and from thence to Scotland, where he married one of her Maids of Honour, about 
1067.*'— Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. xliz> note. See also historical 
Records of the Family of Leslie, by CoL Leslie, E.H., of Balquhain. 8 vols., 1869. 

» "Probably the groundwork of the fairy tale of 'the pure tynt Bashyooat,* a 
common nursery tale."— Leyden. Ibid, p. 236. 

• Post, p. 822. Another ballad neither referred to there, nor printed in this work, 
is given by Mr. Buchan, under the title of *' Jock the Leg and the Merry Merchant.'* 
Ancient Ballads, yo\. ii., p. 165, and note, p. 325. It relates the discomfiture of "Jock 
the Leg," or "Little Jonn," by the "M.erohant,'* who Is, therefore, accounted "the 
strongest and bravest man in the countnr," seeing that ho " overcame Little John, 
Little John Robin Hood, and Robin Hood all the rest of the country." 

7 OoeoTB in the Folio Maitland MS., and is there ascribed to "Deine David 
Stell.*' A modernized copy is given in Watson's Collection, Fart IL, p. ilL; see 
•iBopost, p. 181. 

> This romance, or It may be some abridgment of It, is thus referred to in the 
books of the Lord High Treasurer, a.d. 1497. " Item [the xix diy of Aprile, in 
Strinelln], giffin to twa fithelaris, that sang Qray-steil to the King, ixs.** 

There are numerous references in the works of early Scotish writers to this 
romance, which seems to hATO been veiy popular In Scotland. 

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" the tail of the amours of leander and hero." * 
" the tayl of the thre vierd systirs."" 

" ^ Quhen thir Scheiphyrdis hed tald al thyr pleysand storeis, 
than they and their vyuis began to sing sueit inelodius sangis 
of natural music of the antiquite, as eftir follouis." (See 
TJit Songa of ScoHand^ Chronohgtcalhj Arranged^ p. xxvii.) 

[Some of the pieces enumerated among the '' sueit melodins 
sangis" are, however, properly speaking, ballads. For in- 
stance :— 

" The frog cam to the myl dur." ' 
" the sang of gilquhiskhar."* 
" god sen the due, hed byddin in France, 
And delabaute had neuyr cum hame." ^ 
"the battel of the hayrlau** [post, p. 443]. 
"The hunttis of cheuet" [post, p. 425-0], 
" The persee and the mongumrye met 

that day, that gentil day " {poat, p. 424]. 
"my luf is laid upon ane knight" [post, p. 476]. ] 

"^ Thir Scheiphirdis ande there vyuis sang mony vthir melodi' 
sangis, the quhilkis i hef nocht in mcmorie. than eftir this sueit 
celcst armonye, tha began to dance in ane ring, euyrie aid 
pcheipherd led his vvfe be the hand, and euyrie zong soheip- 
herd led her quhome he luffit best" * — The Complaynt of Sootlandf 
edited by John Leyden, 8vo, 1801, pp. 98-103. 

1 In the BozBUBGHR Collbction, and in Mr. Payne Collier's Roxburghe Ballads. 
p. S27f occora, *' The Tragedy of Hero and Leander. To a pleasant new tune, or. / 
teill never love thee more." A song, or ballad founded on it, appeared In the Tea-tabfe 
MisceUoMf^ -vol. IL, p. 138, and was inserted by Bitson In his Seotish Songs, voL ii., 
Pl 108. tt is not at all likely that either has any claim to bo identiflod with the 
slorp OTflet iayle here referred ta 

s Mr. Motherwell supposes the outline of this story to be given in the following 
lines, relating to a oream which was dreamt^ or Tision which was seen, by 

** Thre werd systyrls most lyk to be 
The first he beard say, gangande by, 
Lo yonder the Tftaifne o/Orambachlyl 
The Tother woman said agayn, 
0/ Murray yonder J se the Tliayn ! 
The Thrid than said, Isethe tyng.' ** 

This is the fountain-head of the story which the Immortal Shakespeare Introdaces 
with such efTeot in his sublime tragedy of " Mo^Jbeth.**— Act I., Scene ill. 

8 This is probably one of the numerous vorslons of the nursery ballad, "A frog 
he would o-wooSng ga** 

4 Is supposed to have been an historic ballad, but time, place, circumstance, and 
person are alike unknown. 

ft This appears to ha^e been a ballad on the ChCTalfcr De la Beaute, whom the 
Begent John, Duke of Albany, left as his deputy when he returned to France. The 
unfortunate Frenchman was sayogely murdered by the Laird of Wedderbum and 
others, a.d. 1617. 

•The musical powers of "kyng amphlon,** "appollo,** *'al the schelpherdls that 
Tirgil mokkis mention in his DucolikiR," "orpheus," "the schelphyrd pan," "nor 

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J Among the dances enumerated, the following are named after 
lad heroes: — 
" Robene hude " [post, p. 322]. 
" thorn of lyn " [post, p. 186]. 
"johnne ermistrangis dance" [post, p. 489].] 
But, as remarked by Leyden, the list " cannot be considered 
as complete, though it marks the peculiar taste of the author." 
No reasonable argument against the antiquity of " Sir Patrick 
Spens," or any other presumedly ancient ballad or song, can 
therefore be founded on the silence of The Complaynt regarding 
them. In fact, many of the Romances enumerated in The 
Complaynt, but here omitted, could never have been popular 
among Scotish shepherds^ and their wives, while the whole 
scene of Arcadian or " sweet celestial harmony" and simplicity 
conjured up by the author was entirely alien to the stern reality 
witnessed in the Scotland of that age. 

As The Complaynt is chiefly valued and referred to on account 
of the passages quoted above, it has been deemed advisable to 

five them in the orthography of the author, as represented by 
eyden. " 

The Maitland MS8., Folio and Quarto, a.d. 1655-86,' the one 
written by Sir Richard Maitland, and the other by his daughter; 
and the Bannatyne MS., written by George Bannatyne, a.d. 1568;* 
contain poems by Dunbar, Gawin Douglas, Henryson, Alexander 
Scot, Sir Richard Maitland, and other makkars, named and un- 
named ; but, with the exception of two or three in the Bannatyne 
MS.,* the poems contained m these MSS. cannot, properly speak- 
ing, be classed as ballads. 

The principal printed Collections containing Scotish Ballads 
or Poems, which have been printed and classed as such, are as 
follows : — 

"A Choice Collection of Comic and Serious Scots Poems, 

mercoriaa,** "cold nocht be oomparit to thir folr said Bchoiphyrdia"— Comjxraynt, 
p. 102. 

The snperlatiTe exceUence of their dancing is also graphically described:—" for 
fyrst thai begS yiUit tna bekklB and Titht a kysse. enripidee, innenal, perseoa, 
horasee. nor nano of the satiric poiettes qnhlllds mooit ther bodies as thai hed bene 
danaand qohen thai pronnncit ther tragiedeis, none of them kepit moir geomatrlal 
megnre nor thlr scheiphyrdis did in thir dansing. nor Indlns that yas the fyrst 
dansar of roxne, cold nocht haf been comparit to thir schefphirdiB." Well might the 
author exclaim that he "beheld neuyr ane mair dilectabil recreatiOe.*'— Om^taynt 
p. 102. 

1 See note, ante, p. xxiii. 

* The Early English Text Society announced a new edition of this cnrlons and 
Interesting work for their issue of 1870, but it has not yet appeared. (1871.) 

t For an account of the contents of Uiese MSS^ see Pinkerton's Andmt Beotish 
Foems^ voL iL, Appendix I. 

4 Ibid, and more accurately in Memorial of George Bannatyne, 1829, ito, a volume 
printed for the Bannatyne Olub. 

* "The Bald of Beidsquair," iwi/, p. C21, is the only one glyen in this work. 

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Both Ancient and Modern, By several Hands. Edinburgh, 
printed by James Watson: Sold by John VaUange'' [Three 
Parts, 1706, 1709, and 1711. Second ed. of Part i., 1713.] » 

" The Evergreen, Being a Collection of Scots Poems, Wrote 
by the Ingenious before 1600. Published by Allan Ramsay. 
Edinburgh, 1724." 2 vols.* 

" The Tea Table Miscellany: A Collection of Choice Songs, 
Scots and English. Edinburgh 1724, and after." 4 vols.' 

" Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, &c.. By Thomas Percy, 
Lord Bishop of Dromore." London, 1st ed., 1765, 4th ed. (im- 
proved) 1794. * 

" Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs, Heroic Ballads, etc." 
[Edited by David Herd, assisted by George Paton.l Edinburgh, 
1769. 2ded., in2vols., 1776.* 

"The Scots Musical Museum," &c., by James Johnson. 
Edinburgh, 6 vols., 1787-1803. [3d ed., "With copious Notes 
and Illustrations ... by the late William Stenhouse," and 
"with additional Notes and Illustrations by David Laing 
and C. K. Sharpe, Edinburgh, 1863." 4 vols.] • 

*' Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," &c. [1st and 2d vols., 
1802: 8d, 1803. Last ed. revised by Sir Walter Scott, Caddell, 
Edinburgh, 1830. 4 vols.] ' 

" Popular Ballads and Songs ... by Robert Jamieson," 
Edinburgh, 1806. 2 vols.* 

1 This is the earliest coUeotion of Scott Poems issned in book form. 

a Most of the poems contained In The Evergreen were printed from the Bannatyne 
MS.; but they are riven very Inaccurately. It contains also " Hardyknute," "The 
Vision,'' &&, wiilch nod no right to a place under such a title as the above. 

8 The earliest Collection of Scot* Songt^ and the basis of all subsequent ooUeotions. 

* The Rdiquts contain a larger number of Scotish Ballads than had previously 
api)e«red in print, at least in a collected form. Most, if not all of them, wero 
transmitted by Lord Hailes. 

* Contributes largely to our stock of ballads; many fragments being also gleaned 
up and preserved which might otherwise have perished. 

* The Nolet and niuatration* were added to this last edition, of which they form the 
4th volume; but in other respects the editions are the same, both beintc paged 
continuously: vols. i. to vL of the Ist ed. corresponding with vols L to ill. of the 
8d ed. Music, Words, and Notes all combine to render this the most valuable 
compendium of Scotish Song prior to the beginning of the present century, and 
indispensable to tiiose who wisn to know nearly all that is known or can be aecer- 
tainea regarding our National Song and Musio up to tiiat period. 

T Mr. Motherwell, referring to "this great national work," remarks,— " Fortunate 
It was for the Heroick and liegendary Song of Scotland that thla work was under- 
taken, and still more fortunate that its execution devolved upon one so well qualified 
In every respect to do its subject the most ample justice." The present work con- 
tains, with very few exceptions, all the genuine relics of Traditionary Ballads first 
given to the world by The Great Wizard of the North, who won his spurs as collector 
and editor of the above-named work. 

8 For some account of Mr. Jamieson's contributions to the Ballad Literature of 
Scotland, see caiiCy p. xvL 

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" Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern, with an Historical Intro- 
duction and Notes. By William Motherwell." Glasgow, 1827. ^ 

" Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland, 
Hitherto Unpublished, With Explanatory Notes by Peter 
Buchan." Edinburgh: printed for W. & D. Laiug, and J, 
Stevenson, &c., 1828. 2 vols. • 

Numerous collections, many of them of considerable value, 
although of minor importance, compared with those just named, 
are referred to under: — ' 

1 The " Historical Introduction and Notes ** by Mr. Motherwell cannot be too 
highly praised, and rendered his Mitutrtisy really invaluable to all who desired a 
comprenensiTe, and, at the same time, minute acquaintance with almost every- 
thing pertaining to or known regarding Scotish Ballads, up to the date of publication, 
and prior to the issue of the present work, in which the mformation he so industri- 
ously and intelligently gathered together and imparted is nearly all incorporated and 

< " The most extensive and valuable additions," writes Sir Walter Scott, "which 
have been of late made to this branch of ancient literature, are the collections of 
Mr. Peter Buchan, of Peterhead, a person of indefatigable research in that depart- 
ment, and whose industiy has been crowned with the most successful results ; *' and 
again—" Of the originality of the ballads in Mr. Buchan's collection, we do not enter- 
ain the slightest doubt.** After stating several good and valid reasons for this opinion, 
he further adds,— " Accordingly, we have never seen any Collection of Scottish 
Poetiy appearing, from internal evidence, so decidedly and indubitably original 
It is pernape a pity that Mr. Buchan did not remove some obvious errors and 
corruptions; but In truth, though their remaining on record is an Injury to the 
effect of the ballads in point of composition, it is, in some degree, a proof of their 
authenticity.*'— Introductory Remarks on Popular Poetry, MintireUy^ vol. I., 
pp. 85-8. 

3 "Aberdeen Caniut; Isl, cd., 1652; 2iid, ol. lflG*5t Srd. ed., 1632. Pinkerton*9 
Scctthh Trmjic Ikilfads, 1781, unci meet Scotiiih /fa! fads, 2 vols., 1783. Gaw'a 
Pottkai MH^tum, Eawlek, 17S*. Eit'^onB SeMtUh i?on>f, "i vols., 17W. Scottish Poenu 
o/ the SLriffnih Cfrttur^, Edlletl hy J, O, Dalzoll, 1^1. Finlay's Scottish HUtorical 
and Eomantic Baltu<is,2 vols., I^US. £ van's Old Baltadsy &c., 2 vols., 1777; 4 vols., 
17St; new etL rsviaed, IBin, Cmm^^k's Sttfct Scottish Songs, 2 vols., 1810. Gilchrist's 
€oU«Um of Battads^ ^., 2 voIb^ 18 L3. Ilogg's Jarotfiti Relics <(f Scotland, 2 vols., 
I81l> and 182L Smithes ScoHith Minttret. 6 vols., HOn-U. Struthers' British Minstrel, 
182L lifting's (liavld) Stltf-i fitntmns, &c., W^L LoJngs (Alex.), Scarce Ancient 
nallads, U2^^, antl Thitife c/ Scotland, 1S2:{. Webster's Curious Old Bcdlads, 1824. 
A Ballad Soot bv C. K. Sinirpc, UH. A Xarth Counfrie Garland, by Maidment, 1824. 
MM^ivmtV^ *^oi{iih QaitoTidian Ewytlopfedia^ \^1\. Buchan's Gleanings, 1825. 
AlSaa t^nBlntcbunrB S(mg§ of Scotfanit, i voU^ l^'25. David Laing's Earlu Metrical 
3bte. IftSB. KiiikKih » Ancient Scottish Banads, 1827; and The Ballad Book, 1827. 
Lyle a Ancitnl fkiKadi and Songs. 183f7. Jacolrite MinttrelsM, Glasgow, 1829. Michel'a 
IfugfuM de Uttcoln^ £c,, Paris, 1^ Mafdment'B BaUadt, Jtc., 1834. Danney^s Ancient 
Sottish Mfloditi, 1888. Maddon's 8»r Gamtjpu^ ix^ VSm, Scottish Traditional Ver- 
sions of Andrnt Daltadi [from ft MS. of Peter Bucbflti**! edited by J. H. Dixon, 1845. 
Chambers's Pi^pidar iihifmes, Jto. [three edctions, l»i&, ilH3, and 18701. A New Book of 
Old IktUods, by Maldmont, 1844. WhitGlaw's Book of Scottish Ballads, 1845. 
Rlet)ard»on't Bordertr^s Table Book, 8 vols.. 1 341-0. Th^ Ballads and Songs of Ayrshire^ 
&CL, By Jomea Fatsraoa 2 parts, 1846-7. Maidmcnl'ft Scottish Ballads and Songs, 1869. 
Rijihop Partes Folio Uanvscript. printed copy. 3 voR, I'^^iS. Moidment's Scottish Ballads 
and Songs^ ft&, 2 volsi, l&sa Logan's Pedlar' t Pad, 1863. Professor Child's English 
&nd Scotiith Batfads, B vole., 11^1— so often referred to and commended in this work 
^iFi iipeciaUj valaablo on accouut of Its giving nearlv everv British Ballad or Ballad 
vorBion wortliy of prcservatloiL The profoBsedly collated collections are:— 
Chain bera^s Stcttish Ballads, ft a, IS?9, Aytonn'a &fi! fads of Scotland, 2 vols., 1868; 
2Dd edmon, ]S:ia AnioKham'fl Baitad Bwk (British), 1864. Bobert's Legendary 
Baitadt <if England and Scotland, um. 

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The different versioDs of tliis favourite ballad are — 
L Herd's—" The Bonnie Lass of Lochroyan." 

Andent and Modem Scottish Songs, &c., vol. i., p. 149. 

IL Scott's— " The Lass of Lochroyan. " 

Minstrelsy qfthe Scottish Border^ voL iiL, p. 199. 

IlL Jamieson's — " Fair Annie of Lochroyan." 

Popular Ballads and Songs, vol. L, p. 36. 

IV. Buchan*B— * * Love G regory. " 

Ancient Ballads and Songs, Ac, vol. ii, p. 193. 

The text here printed has been collated from the four versions 
named above. 

A short fragment appeared in Johnson's Museum, vol. i., p. 5; 
and **Mr. Cunningham, in his Songs of Scotland, vol. i., p. 298, 
favoured the world with an ample specimen of his ovvii poetical 
talents,"* based on the version of Sir Walter Scott. Songs on the 
story of " fair Annie " have also been written by Dr. Wolcot, Burns, 
and Jamieson. 

Scott's version "is composed of verses selected from three MS. 
copies, and two obtained from recitation. Two of the copies are iu 
Herd's MS.; the third in that of Mrs. Brown, of Falkland."— 
Minstrelsy, vol. iii, p. 199. 

^ Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Introdoctfon, p. IxfL 

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Jamieson*s version is, he states, "given verbatim from the large 
MS. collection, transmitted from Aberdeen, by my zealous and 
industrious friend, Professor Robert Scott, of that University. It 
was first written down many years ago, with no view towards being 
committed to the press ; and is now given from the copy then taken, 
with the addition only of stanzas 22 and 23 (41 and 42 of the 
present version), which iJie editor has inserted from memory." — 
JPopular BalladSf voL i, p. 36. 

Sir Walter Scott observes, that " the lover, who, if the story be 
real, may be supposed to have been detained by sickness, is re- 
presented in the legend as confined by fairy charms in an enchanted 
castle situated in the sea; " and he adds, that ** the ruins of ancient 
edifices are still visible on the summits of most of those small islands, 
or rather insulated rocks, which lie along the coast of Ayrshire and 
Galloway, as Ailsa and Big Scaur. *' 

Mr. Chambers describes Lochryan as *' a beautiful, though some- 
what wild and secluded bay, which projects from the Iiish Channel 
into Wigtonshire (district of Galloway), having the little seaport of 
Stranraer situated at its bottom."— <9co«wA BaTlads, p. 225. 

Concerning this ballad. Bums remarks : — ** It is somewhat singular, 
that in Lanark, Renfrew, Ayr, Wigton, Kirkcudbright, and Dumfries 
shires, there is scarcely an old song or tune, which, from the title, &c., 
can be guessed to belong to, or be the production o^ these counties. 
This, I coDJecture, is one of these very few, as the ballad, which is a 
long one, is called, both by tradition and in printed collections, 'The 
Lass of Lochroyan,' which I take to be Lochryan, in Galloway." — 
Cromek's Reliquea, p. 198. 

With reference to the ** bonnie boat," which figures so prominently 
in the ballad, the following extract may be quoted as attesting the 
accuracy with which its fittings and decorations are described : — 

** According to Froissart, the vessels of the French fleet, prepared 
for the invasion of England in the tenth year of Richard IL, were 
painted with arms, and ffilded; their banners, pennons, and 
standards were formed of ews. ; and the masts, which glittered like 
gold, were painted from the top to the bottom. When the ancient 
popular ballads, therefore, describe the masts of a vessel as shining 
like gold or silver, or mention the ' sails of light green silk, and the 
tows of taffetie,' they probably adhere more stridiljr to the antique 
costume than a cursory observer would be apt to imagine." — Leyden's 
Preliminary Dissertation to Tfie Complaynt o/ScoUand, p. 116. 

Oh, it fell on a Wodensday, 
Lord Gregory 's ta'en the sea, 

And he has left his fair Annie, 
And a weary woman was she. 

He hadna sailed away from her 
A day but barely three, 

Till she has born a fair young son 
To her Lord Gregory, 

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8 He liadDa sailed away from her 
A week but barely aue, 
Till fair Annie, in child-bed laid, 
For Lord Gregory did mane. 

4 " Oh, wha will shoe my bonnie foot? 

And wha will glove my hand? 

And wha will lace my middle jimp 

With a lang, lang linen band? 

6 "Ob, wha will kame my yellow hair 

With a new-made silver kame? 

And wha will father my young son, 

Till Lord Gregory come hame?" 

C "Thy father will shoe thy bonnie foot, 
Thy mother will glove thy hand, 
Thy sister will lace thy middle jimp, 
Till Lord Gregory come to land. 

7 " Thy brother will kame thy yellow hair 

With a new-made silver kame, 
And God will be thy bairn's father 
Till Lord Gregory come hame." 

8 She hadna born her fair young son 

A day but barely three. 
Till word has to fair Annie come, 
Her lord she'd nae mair see. 

9 " Oh, I will get a carpenter 

To build a boat to me; 
And I will get bold mariners. 
With me to sail the sea. 

10 " And I will seek him, love Gregory, 

In lands where'er he be ; 
Oh, I will gang to love Gregory, 
Since he canna come to mo.'' 

11 Her father he gar'd build a boat. 

And fitted it royallie; 
The sails were of the light green silk, 
The tows of taffetie. 

12 The masts of burnish'd gold were made, 

And far o'er sea they shone; 

The bulwarks richly were inlaid 

With pearl and royal bone. 

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13 At every needle tack was in*t 
There hung a silver beil, 
That softly tinkled with the breeze, 
Or salt sea^B heaving swell. 

Itl And he has gi^en her the bonnie boat, 
And sent her to the strand ; 
She 's ta'en her younff son in her arms, 
And turned her back to land. 

15 She hadna sail'd but twenty leagues, 

But twenty leagues and three, 
When she met with a rank rover. 
And all his companie. 

16 " Now whether are ye the queen hersell 

(For sae ye weel might be), 
Or are ye the lass o£ Lochryan, 
Seekin* Lord Gregory?" 

17 " Oh, I am not the queen," she said, 

" Tho' sic I seem to be ; 
But I am the lass of Lochryan, 
Seekin' Lord Gregory." 

18 " Oil, see na thou yon bonnio bower? 

It 's all cover'd o'er with tin ; 
When thou hast sail'd it round about. 
Lord Gregory is within." 

19 And when she saw the stately tower, 

Shining sae clear and bright, 
Whilk stood aboon the jawing wave, 
Built on a rock of height 

20 Says — " Row, row ye, my mariners. 

And bring me to the land! 
For yonder I see my love's castle, 
Close by the salt sea strand." 

21 She sail'd it round and round about, 

And loud and sair cried she — 
" Now break, now break, ye fairy charms. 
And set my true love free ! " 

22 She's ta'en her young son in her arms, 

And to the door she 's gane ; 
And long she knock'd, and sair she call'd, 
But answer got she nane. 

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23 " Oh, open the door, Lord Gregory ! 

Ob, open, and let me in ! 
For the wind blaws through my yellow hair. 
And the rain draps o*er my chin." 

24 The ni^ht was dark, and the wind blew cauld, 

And ner love was fast asleep. 
And the bairn that was in her twa arms 
Full sair began to greet. 

25 Lang stood she at her true love's door, 

And lang tirl'd at the pin ; 
At length up got his fausc mother, 
Says—" Wha 's that wou'd be in ? " 

26 " Oh, it is Annie of Lochryan, 

Your love come o'er the sea, 
And your young son is in mv arms, 
Sae open the door to me." 

27 " Awa, awa, ye ill woman I 

Ye're no come here for good, 
Yo're but some witch or wil' warlock. 
Or mermaid of the flood." 

28 " I am neither witch nor wil' warlock, 

Nor mermaid of the sea ; 
But I am Annie of Lochryan ; 
Oh, open the door to me ! " 

29 " If thou be Annie of Lochryan 

(As I trow thou binna she). 
Now tell me some of the love-tokens 
That pass'd between thee and me." — 

30 " Oh, dinna ye mind. Lord Gregory, 

As'we twa sat at dine. 
We chang'd the rinffs frae our fingers, 
And I can show thee thine? 

81 "Ob, yours was gude, and gude enough, 
But no sae gude as mine ; 
For yours was of the gude red gold, 
But mine of the diamond fine. 

32 " Now open the door, Lord Gregory, 
Open the door, I pray I 
For thy j^oung son is in my arms. 
And Will be deid ere day." 

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S3 " If thou be the lasB of Lochryan 
(As I kenna thou to be), 
. Tell me some mair of the love-tokens 
Passed between me and thee." 

84 " Oh, dinna ye mind, Lord Gregory, 
WTien we sat at the wine, 
How we changM the napkins frae our necks — 
It 's nae sae lang sinsyne ? 

35 " And yours was gude, and gude enough, 
But nae sae gude as mine ; 
For yours was of the cambric clear, 
But mine of the silk sae fine. 

86 " Sae open the door, now, love Gregory, 
And open it with speed; 
Or your young son, that is in my arms, 
With cauld will soon be deid." 

37 " Awa, awa, ye ill woman, 

Gae frae my door for shame; 
For I ha'e gotten anither fair love, 
Sae ye may hie ye hame." 

88 " Oh, ha*e ve gotten anither fair love, 

For all the oaths ye sware? 

Then fare ye weel, fause Gregory, 

For me ye*s ne'er see mair!" 

89 Fair Annie tum'd her round about — 

" Weel I since that it be sae. 
May ne'er a woman that has bom a son 
Ha'e a heart sae full of wae ! " 

40 Oh, hooly, hooly gaed she back, 

As the day began to peep; 
She set her foot on good ship board, 
And sair, sair did she weep. 

41 " Take down, take down the mast of gold, 

Set up the mast of tree ; 
111 seta It a forsaken lady 
To sail sae gallantlie. 

42 " Take down, take down the sails of silk, 

Set up the sails of skin ; 
111 sets the outside to be gay. 
When there 's sic grief within I " 

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48 When the cock had crawn, and the day did dawn, 
And the sun began to peep. 
Lord Gregory started frae his sleep, 
And sair, sair did he weep. 

a " Oh, I ha'e dreamed a dream, mother, 
I wish it may prove true, 
That the bonnie lass of Lochryan 
Was at the yate e*en now. 

45 " Oh, I ha*e dream'd a dream, mother, 

I wish it be not sae ; 
I dreamed a dream last night, mother. 
That gars my heart feelwae, 

46 " I dream'd that Annie of Lochryan, 

The flower of all her kin, 
Was standin' moumin* at my door, 
But nane wou^d let her in. 

47 " Oh, I ha'e dream'd a dream, mother — 

The thought o't gars me greet- 
That fair Annie of Lochryan 
Lay cauld deid at my feet." 

48 " If it be for Annie of Lochryan 

That ye make all this din, 
She stood all last night at your door, 
But I trow she wan na in.*' 

49 " Oh, wae betide ye, ill woman ! 

An ill deid may ye dee! 
That wadna open the door to her, 
Nor yet wou'd wauken me." 

50 Oh, he *s gane down to yon shore side 

As fast as he cou'd fare ; 
He saw fair Annie in the boat. 
But the wind it toss'd her sair. 

51 " And hey, Annie ! and how, Annie ! 

Annie, winna ye bide?" 
But aye the mair he cried ** Annie," 
The braider grew the tide. 

52 '^ And hey, Annie I and how, Annie ! 

Dear Annie, speak to mel " 
But aye the louaer he cried " Annie," 
The loader roared the sea. 

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53 The wind grew loud, the sea grew rough, 

And the ship was rent in twain; 
And soon he saw her, fair Annie, 
Come floating o^er the main. 

54 He saw his young son in her arms, 

Baith toss'd aboon the tide ; 
He wrang his hands, and plunged himsell 
Into the sea sao wide. 

55 The wind blew loud, the sea grew rough, 

And dashed the boat on shore; 
Fair Annie floated through tho foam. 
But the babie rase no more. 

56 Lord Gregory tore his yellow hair, 

And made a heavy moan ; 
Fair Annie's corpse lay at his feet — 
Her bonnie young son was gone. 

57 Oh, cherry, cherry was her cheek. 

And golden was her hair ; 
But clay-cauld were her rosy lips — 
Nae spark of life was there. 

58 And first he kissed her cherry cheek, 

And syne he kissed her chm. 
And syne ho kissed her rosy lips- 
There was nae breath within. 

59 " Oh, wae betide my cruel mother ! 

An ill death may she dee ! 
She tumM my true love frae my door, 
Wha came sae far to me. 

60 " Oh, wae betide my cruel mother ! 

An ill death may she dee I 
Sho turned fair Annie frae my door, 
Wha died for love of me,'* 

61 Oh, he has mournM o'er fair Annie, 

Till the sun was ganging down ; 
Syne with a sigh his heart it burst. 
And his saul to heaven has flown. 

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A frasment of this ballad, extending to sixteen stanzas, first appeared, 
tinder the title of ** Willie and Mav Margaret/* in Jamieson's ropular 
Ballads^ vol. i., p. 134, where he says, "it was taken from the 
recitation of Mrs. Brown of Falkland." Motherwell reprinted the 
same fragment in his Minstrelsy, p. 155; and in his Appendix IL, 
p. iii, appear sixteen additional stanzas, completing the baJlad, which 
was also given in a complete state by Buchan, tmder the title of 
"The Drowned Lovers." — Ancient BaUads, Ac., voL L, p. 140. 

The earlier stanzas of this latter version differ in a few unimportant 
particnlars from those of Jamieson's fragment. 

Professor Aytonn printed Mr. Jamieson's version, with the 
addition of "three stanzas, from Mr. Buchan's," under the title 
of "The Mother's Malison," as he considered that "there is a 
superfluity of Willies and Margarets in our popular minstrelsy.*' — 
The Ballads of Scotland, vol. i., p. 155. 

Buchan's version is the one here generally followed. 

The fatal end of both lovers is brought about through the deception 
of a malicious mother, who answers in the assumed voice of a lover, 
in which respect it resembles the preceding ballad, "Fair Annie of 

A similar ballad of the North, but apparently of later date, named, 
" Willie's Drowned in Gamery," appears in a subsequent portion of 
this collection. 

1 Willie stands in his stable door, 

Clapping his coal-black steed; 
And looking o'er his white fingers, 
His nose oegan to bleed. 

2 " Gi'e com to my horse, mother, 

And meat to my man, John; 

And I'll awa to Marg'ret's bower, 

Before the night comes on.** 

3 " Oh, bide this night with me, Willie, 

Oh, bide this night with me ; 
The best, an' fowl of all the roost 
At your supper shall be." 

4 " All your fowls, and all your roosts, 

I value not a prin ; 
Sae I'll awa to Marg'ret's bower, 
Before the night sets in," 

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5 " Stay this night ^vith me, Willie, 

Oh, stay this night with me; 
The best, an* sheep in all the flock, 
At your supper shall be." 

6 " All your sheep, and all your flocks, 

I value not a prin ; 
Sae 1*11 awa to Marff'ret's bower, 
I maun be there this e*en," 

7 "Oh, stajr at home, my son, Willie, 

The wmd blaws cauld and shrill; 
The night will be baith mirk and late, 
Ere her bower ye win till." 

8 " Oh, tho' the night were e'er sae mirk, 

Or the wind blew e'er sae cauld, 
I will be in May Marg'ret's bower 
Before twa hours be tauld." 

9 " Oh, an' ye gang to Marg'ret's bower, 

Without the leave of me. 
In the deepest pot* of Clyde's water, 
My malison drown thee." 

10 " The gude steed that I ride upon 

Cost me thrice threttie pound ; 
And I'll put trust in his swift feet, 
To take me safe and sound." 

11 He mounted on his coal-black steed, 

And fast he rode awa; 
But ere he came to Clyde's water, 
Full loud the wind did blaw. 

12 As he rade o'er yon high, high hill, 

And down yon dowie den. 
The noise that was in Clyde's water 
Wou'd fear'd five hunder men. 

13 " Oh, roaring Clyde, ye roar ower loud, 

Your streams seem wondrous Strang; 
Make me your wreck as I come back, 
But spare me as I gang." 

14 His heart was warm, his pride was up; 

Sweet Willie kentna fear; 
But yet his mother's malison 
Aye sounded in his ear. 

^ '* Pot: " bole, or edd/^oli 

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15 Oh, he has swam through Clyde water, 

Though it was wide and deep; 
And he came to May Marg'ret's door 
When all were fast asleep. 

16 Oh, he *s gane round and round about, 

And tirPd at the pin; 
But doors were steeVd, and windows barr'd, 
And nane would let him in. 

17 " Oh, open the door to me, MargVet — 

Oh, open and let me in I 
For iny Doots are full of Clyde's water, 
And frozen to the brim." 

18 " Oh, wha is this at my bower door 

That calls me by my name?" 
" It is your first love, sweet Willie, 
This night newly come hame." 

19 '^ I ha'e some lovers without, without. 

And I ha'e some within ; 
But the best lover that e'er I had, 
He was here late yestreen.'* 

20 " Oh, if ye winna open the door, 

Nor yet be kind to me. 
Now tell me of some out-chamber 
Where I this night may be." 

21 " My barns are full of com, Willie ; 

My stables are full of hay ; 
My bowers are full of merry young men, 
They winna remove till day." 

22 " Oh, fare ye weel, then, May Marg'ret, 

Since better maunna be; 
Pve won my mother's malison 
Coming this night to thee." 

23 He 's mounted on his coal-black steed — 

Oh, but his heart was wael 

But ere he came to Clyde water, 

'Twas half up o'er the brae. 

24 And when he came to Clyde waioi'^ 

'Twas flowing o'er tlie orim; 
The rushinff that was in Clyde wdtOf 
Took WiiUe'e oane k9A lunu 

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25 He leanM him o^er bis saddle bow, 

To catch his cane again; 
Tlie rnsbing that was in Clyde water 
Took Willie's hat frae him. 

26 He loaned him o'er bis saddle bow, 

To catch his bat by force; 
The rushing that was in Clyde water 
Took Willie frae his horse. 

27 His brother stood upon the bank, 

Says—" Fye, man, will ye droon? 
Ye'U turn ye to your high horse head. 
And learn ye how to soom." 

28 " How can I turn to my high horse head, 

And learn me how to soom? 
Fve gotten my mother's malison, — 
It 's here that I maun droon." 

29 The very hour the young man sank 

Into the pot sae deep. 
Up it waken'd her, May MargVet, 
Out of her drowsy sleep. 

80 " Come here, come here, my mother dear, 
And read this dreary dream ; 
I dream'd my love was at our yetts, 
And nane wou'd let him in." 

31 " Lye still, lye still now. May Marg'ret, 
Lye still, and take your rest. 
Since your true love was at our yetts, 
It 's but twa quarters past." 

82 Nimbly, nimbly rase she up, 

And nimbly put she on; 
And nimbly to Clyde water sido 
May Margaret has gone. 

83 When she came to Clyde water side. 

Right boldly she stepped in; 
And loud her true love's name she cali'd, 
But louder blew the win'. 

84 The firsten step that she stepp'd in, 

Her flesh with cauld did creep , 
" Alas, alas !" the lady said, 
** This water 'a cauld aud deep. 

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85 The neisten step that she wade in, 
She waded to the knee ; 
Says she — " I would wade further in, 
If I my love cou'd see." 

S6 The neisten step that she wade in, 
She waded to the chin ; 
The deepest pot in Clyde water 
She got sweet Willie in. 

37 " You've had a cruel mother, Willie, 
And I have had another ; 
But we shall sleep in Clyde water, 
Like sister and like brother." 


First pnhlished, *'from the recitation of a lady nearly related to 
the editor," in Scott's Minstrelsy of Che Scottish Border , vol. iil, 
p. 269. 

Another version appeared in Minstrelsy^ Ancient and Modem j p. 
200, "given/** says Motherwell, " from the recitation of an old woman, 
a native of Bonhill, in Dumbartonshire ; and it is one of the earliest 
songs she remembers of having heard chanted on the classic banks of 
the Water of Leven. The variations between the two copies are 
not very many or striking." 

Motherwell's version has famished a few emendations on Scott's 
text; while stanzas 8 and 10 are partly, and 12 wholly, derived from 
it. The stanzas corresponding to stanzas 9 and 14, of the text hero 
printed, are also given at the oottom of the respective pages. 

Motherwell further states, in his Introduction (p. Ixxxiii, note 95), 
that he had '* seen a third copy, which gives two stanzas not found 
in either of the sets before the public : " — 

" Lord Bobert and Mary Florence, 
They were twa children ying: 
They were scarce seven years of age, 
Till love began to sprini'. 

"Lord Bobert loved Mary Florence, 
And she lov'd him above power ; 
Biit he dnrst not, for his cruel mither, 
Bring her intiU hia bower/* 

** Lady Isabel,'* which immediately follows, and " Clerk Tamas," 
which appears firther on, are both similar to ** Prince Robert " in 
the method of poisoning described. 

1 Prince Robert has wedded a ^ay ladye, 
He has wedded her with a ring ; 
Princo Robert has wedded a gay ladye. 
But he d arena bring her harae. 

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2 " Your blessing, your blessing, my mother dear I 

Your blessing now grant to me 1 " 
" Instead of a blessing, ye shall have my curse, 
And you'll get nae olessing frae me." 

3 She has calPd upon her waiting-maid 

To fill a glass of wine ; 
She has call'd upon her fause steward 
To put rank poison in. 

4 She has put it to her haggard * lips, 

And to her haggard chin; 
She has put it to her fause, fause mouth, 
But never a drap gaed in. 

5 He has put it to his bonnie mouth, 

And to his bonnie chin ; 
He has put it to his cherry lips, 
And the rank poison ran in. 

6 " Oh, you ha'e poison'd your ae son, mother, 

Your ae son and vour heir ; 
Oh, ye ha*e poison'd your ae son, mother, 
And sons you'll never ha'e mair. 

7 "Oh, where will I get a little boy, 

That will win hose and shoon, 
To rin sae fast to Darlinton, 
And bid fair Eleanor come ? " 

8 Then up and spake a little boy. 

To Prince Robert something akin : 
" I've oft with joy vour errands ran, 
But this day with the tears I'll rin." 

9 Oh, he has run to Darlinton, 

And tirl'd at the pin ; 
And wha was sae ready as Eleanor, 
To let the bonnie boy in ? f 

10 " What news, what news, my bonnie boy, 
What news ha'e ye to me ? " 
" I bring a message frae Prince Robert, 
And his lady mother, to thee. 

* The original reacbi ^'roades," in place of "haggard," in both this and the tol' 
lowing line. 

t Motherwell's yerelon has the following stanza here:— 
"Oh, when he came to Sittingen's rooks, 
To the middle of a* the ha , 
There were bells a^ringing, and mnsio pUylog, 
And lodiea dudag aV 
Contrast this ^Ith stanza li 

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11 " Your gude-mother has made ye a rare dinner, 

She *8 made it baith gude and fine ; 
Your ^de-mother has made ye a ^ay dinner^ 
Ana ye maun come to her and dme.'* 

12 She calPd unto her waiting-maid, 

To bring her a riding weed ; 
And she calPd to her stable groom, 
To saddle her milk-white steed. 

13 Oh, it 's twenty lang miles to Sillertoun town, 

The langest that ever were gane : 
But the steed it was wi^ht, and the ladye was light, 
And she rade briskly m. 

14 But when she came to Sillertoun town. 

And into Sillertoun hall, 
The torches were burning, the ladies were mourning, 
And they were weeping all.* 

16 " Oh, where is now my wedded lord? 
And where now can he be ? 
Oh, where is now my wedded lord ? 
For him I canna see." 

16 " Your wedded lord," his mother said, 

" Will soon be laid in the clay : 
Your wedded lord is dead," she said, 
" And will be buried the day. 

17 " Ye'se get nane of his gowd, ye'se get nane of his gear, 

Ye'se get nae thing frae me ; 
Ye'se no get an inch of his gude braid land, 
Though your heart should burst in three." 

18 " I want nane of his gowd, I v/ant nane of his gear, 

I want nae land frae thee; 
But ril ha'e the rings frae his wee finger, 
For them he did promise to me." 

19 " Ye'se no get the rings frae his wee finger, 

Ye'se no get them frae me ; 
Ye^se no get the rings frae his wee finger. 
An' your heart shou'd burst in three." 

• The oorresponding stanza in Motherwell's version read»^ 

** Bnt when she came to Earl Robert's hoolr, 
To the middle of a* the ha', 
There were bells a-ringing, wA ibMts doim binglngi 
M4 ladies BmnUog %v 

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20 She 's turned her back unto the wall, 

And her face unto a rock ; 
And there, before the mother^s face, 
Her very heart it broke. 

21 The ane was buried in Marie's kirk, 

The other in Marie's quire; 
And out of the ane there sprang a birk, 
And out of the other a brier. 

22 And thae twa met, and thae twa plat. 

The birk but and the brier; 
And by that ye may very weel ken 
They were twa lovers dear. 

Abridged from Bnchan's Ancient Ballads and Sorif/ftf vol i., p. 120. 

1 'TwAS early on a May morning, 

Lady Isabel comVd her hair ; 
But little kenn'd she on the mom 
She would never comb it mair. 

2 Ben it came her stepmother, 

As wroth as wroth cou'd be; 
" It *s tauld me that your father loves 
You better far than me." 

3 "Oh, them that tauld j'ou that, mother, 

Ha'e done it for some spite ; 
Oh, them that tauld you that, mother, 
May God their ill requite." 

4 " It may bo very well seen, Isabel, 

It may be very well seen. 
He buys to you the damask gowns, 
To me the dowie green." 

6 " Ye are of age, and I am young, 
And young among my flowers ; 
The fairer that my clai thing be, 
The mair honour is yours. 

G "I ha'e a love beyond the sea. 
And far ayont tlie facm ; 
For ilka gown my father buys. 
My love sends me ten hame," 

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7 " Come ben, now, Lady Isabel, 

And drink the wine with me; 
I ha'e twa jewels in ae cofifer, 
And I'll gi'e ane to thee." 

8 " Stay still, stay still, my mother dear, 

Stay still a little while, 
Till I gang into Marykirk, — 
It's but a little mile." 

9 When she gaed on to Marykirk, 

And into Mary's quair, 
There she saw her ain mother 
Sit in a gowden chair. 

10 ** Oh, will I leave the lands, mother? 

And shall I sail the sea? 
Or shall I drink this dowie dnnk 
That is prepared for me? " 

11 "Ye winna leave the lands, daughter, 

Nor will ye sail the sea, 
But ye will drink the drink prepared 
By this woman for thee. 

12 " Your bed is made in a better place 

Than ever hers will be ; 
And ere ye're call'd into the room, 
Ye will be there with me." 

13 She gaed unto her garden green. 

Her Marys all to see; 
And ga'e to each a broach or ring, 
A keepsake for to be. 

14 Then slowly to the bower she gaed, 

And slowly enter'd in; 
And being fnll of courtesie, 
Says — " Begin, mother, begin." 

15 She put it to her fause, lause cheek, 

Sae did she to her chin ; 
Sae did she to her fause, fause lips, 
But never drap gaed in. 

10 Lady Isabel put it to her cheek, 

Sae did she to her chin; 
Sae did she to her rosy lips, 
Apd the rank poison gaed in« 

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17 " Oh, take this cup frae me, mother, 
Oh, take this oup frae me; 
My bed is made in a better place 
Than ever yours will be. 

13 ** My bed is in the heavens high, 
Amang the angels fine; 
But yours is in the lowest hell, 
To drie, torment, and pine." 

10 Nae mane was made for Lady Isabel, 
In bower where she lay dead ; 
But all was for that ill woman 
In the fields gaed raving mad. 



** Mr. Lewis, in his Tales of Wonder (No. 56), has presented the 
public with a copy of this ballad, with additions and alterations. 
The editor has also seen a. copy, containing some modem stanzas, 
published by Mr. Jamieson, of Macclesfield, in his Collection of 
ScoUiah Po^ry, Yet, under these disadvantages, the editor cannot 
Felinquish his purpose of pubUshing the old ballad, in its native 
simplicity, as taken from Mrs. Brown of Falkland's MS. 

''Those who wish to know how an incantation, or charm, of the 
distressing nature here described, was performed in classic days, may 
consult the story of Galanthis's Metamorx^hosis, in Ovid, or the 
following passage in Apuleius : — ' Eadem (Saga scilicet qussdam) 
amatoris uxorem, quod in earn dicacule probrum dixerat, jam in 
sarcinam pro^ationis, obsepto utero, et repigrato foetu, perpetua 
prsegnatione danmavit. Et ut cuncti numerant, octo annorum onere, 
misella illa^ velut elephantum paritura, distenditur.' — ApuL, Metam,y 
lib. i. 

''There is also a curious tale about a Count of Westeravia, whom a 
deserted concubine bewitched upon his marriage, so as to preclude 
all hopes of his becoming a father. The spell continued to operate 
for three years, till one day;, the Count happening to meet with his 
former mistress, she maliciously asked aoout tne increase of his 
fftmily. The Count, conceiving some suspicion from her manner, 
craftily answered, that God had blessed him with three fine children ; 
on wmch she exclaimed, like Willie's mother in the ballad, 'May 
heaven confound the old hag, by whose counsel I threw an enchanted 
pitcher into the draw-well of your palace ! ' The spell being found 
and destroyed, the Count became the father of a numerous family 
(Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels, p. 474)."— Sir Walter Scott*s Min- 
sirelsy, vol. iiL, p. 16S. 

To complete the story, stanzas 15 and 10 are adapted with slight 

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alteration from Jamieson's version, which appears under the title of 
" Sweet Willie," in Popular BaUada, Ac, voL ii., p. 367. 

The modernized copy which Sir Walter Scott refers to is probably 
"Sweet Willie of Liddesdale. "—jPopw/ar Ballads, &a, voL iL, p. 178. 

The last two lines of stanzas 6 and 9 are the same as the two con- 
cluding lines of " Kemp Owyne. " 

It is probable that in this ballad the last line of these stanzas 
originally read— 

" I wish that I were dead and gane," 

and that the last word of stanzas 3, 7, and 11, originally read ** wean," 
in place of "bairn." 

- There is a Danish ballad, ''Sir Sti^ and Lady Torelild," on the 
same subject, a translation of which is given by Jamieson, in Illtts- 
trations of Northern Antiquities, p. 344, and ** is the eighth (marked 
U) of nine Danish ballads ^ven bv Grundtvig, under the title 
Hustru og Mands Moder, vol. ii., p. 404. Three Swedish versions have 
[also] been printed." — Prot Child, English and Scottish Ballads, voL l, 
p. 162. 

1 Willie has ta'en him o'er the faem, 

He 'b wooed a wife, and brought her hame ; 
He 's wooed her for her yellow hair, 
But his mother wrought her meikle care ; 

2 And meikle dolour gar'd her dree, 
Hor lighter she can never be ; 

But in her bow'r she sits with pain, 
And Willie mourns o*or her in vain. 

8 And to his mother he has gane, 
That vile rank witch, of vdest kind ! 
He says — " My lady has a cup, 
With gowd and silver set about; 
This gudely gift shall be vour ain, 
And let her be lighter of her bairn." 

4 " Of her bairn she 's never be lighter, 
Nor in her bow'r to shine the brighter; 
But she shall die, and turn to clay, 
And you shall wed another may." 

6 " Another may I'll never wed, 

Another may I'll never bring hame.^ 
But, sighing, said that weary wight — 
" I wish my life were at an end." 

6 " Yet gae ye to your mother again. 
That vile rank witch, of vilest Kind I 
And say, your ladye has a steed, 
The like of him *s no in the land of Leed.* 

^^^^ w. " perhaps Lydia. [Scott.] Not at aU probahto: more likely 

•Itber LlddesdAle gr the dia^ct of LeadhillB, XaoarMilre. 

*"LAnd of Leed: 

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7 " For he is silver shod before, 
And he is gowden shod behind; 
At every tuft of that horse mane 

There 's a golden chess,* and a bell to ring. 
This gudely gift shall be her ain. 
And let me be lighter of my bairn.** 

8 "Of her young bairn she *s ne'er be lighter, 
Nor in her bow*r to shine the brighter; 
But she shall die, and turn to clay, 

And ye shall wed another may.** 

9 " Another may I'll never wed, 
Another may 1*11 never bring hame.** 
But, sighing, said that weary wight — 
" I wish my life were at an end I ** 

10 " Yet gae ye to yom mother again, 
That vile rank witch, of rankest kind I 
And say, your ladye has a girdle, 

It 's all red gowd to the middle ; 

11 " And aye, at ilka siller hem. 
Hang fifty siller bells and ten ; 
This gudely gift shall be her ain. 
And let me be lighter of my bairn.** 

12 "Of her young bairn she *8 ne'er be lighter, 
Nor in your bow'r to shine the brighter ; 
For she shall die, and turn to clay, 

And thou shall wed another may." 

13 " Another may I'll never wed. 
Another may I'll never bring hamc." 
But, sighing, said that weary wight — 
" I wish my days were at an end ! '* 

14 Then out and spak the Billy Blind, t 
He spak aye in good time [his mind] : — 
" Yet gae ye to the market place. 

And there do buy a loaf of wace ; J 
Do shape it bairn and bairnly like. 
And in it two glassen een you*ll put. 

* " ChofiB '*— Blionld probably be jesa— the name of a hawk's belL— Scott. 

t "Billy Blind:** a familiar genius. t)r nropitioas spirit, somewhat similar to the 
Brownie. He is mentioned repeatedly in Mrs. Brown's ballads ; but I have not met 
with him anywhere else, although he is alluded to in the rustic game of Bogle 
(t. a, goblin) Billy Blind. The word is, Indeed, used in Sir David Lindsay's Plays, 
but apparently in a different sense:— 

" Priests saU leid yon like ane Bi7/y ainde:* 

Plnkerton'B Scoitith P^ms, 1792, yol. IL, p. 232, 
;"Wace:" wftj. 

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15 " Then to your mother you shall go, 
And bid her your boy's christening to ; 
But do you stand a little away, 

And notice weel what she may say.** 

16 Then to his mother he did go, 

And bade her his boy's chnstening to ; 
And he did stand a little away, 
To notice weel what she mignt say. 

17 " Oh, wha has loosed the nine witch-knots 
That were amang that ladye's locks? 
And wha 's ta'en out the kames of care, 
That were amang that ladye's hair? 

18 " And wha has ta'en down that bush of woodbine 
That hung between her bow'r and mine ? 

And wha nas kilPd the master kid 
That ran beneath that lady e's bed ? 
And wha has loosed her left foot shee, 
And let that ladye lighter be ? " 

ID Syne, Willie 's loosed the nine witch-knots 
That were amang that ladye's locks ; 
And Willie 's ta'en out the kames of care 
That were into that ladye's hair ; 
And he 's ta'en down the bush of woodbine, 
Hung atween her bow'r and the witch carliue. 

20 And he has killed the master kid 
That ran beneath that ladye's bed ; 
And he has loosed her left foot shee. 
And latten that ladye lighter be ; 
And now he has gotten a bonnie son, 
And meikle grace be him upon. 


The following ballad is collated from two dilTerent versions, 
namely : — 

L " Kempion," printed in The MijistreUy of the ScoUisIi Border, 
vol. iiL, p. 230. ** Chiefly from Mrs. Brown's MS., with corrections 
from a recited fragment" 

n. *' Kemp Owyne," printed in Minstrelaij, Ancient and Modern, 
p. 373, 


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In a note to "Young Hastings/' Mr. Buchan states that it, and 
the five following-named ballads, "Reedisdale and Wise William," 
"BiUie Archie," **Youn§ Bearwell," "Kemp Owyne," and "Earl 
Richard," were sent to him, " in MS., by Mr. Nicol, Strichen, who 
wrote them from memory, as he had learned them in earlier years 
from old people." Buchan sent these MSS. to Motherwell, in whose 
work, above-named, they first appeared. 

They were all shortly afterwards included in Buchan's Ancient 
BaUada and Songs^ &;c. 

" The tale of * Kempion/ " says Sir Walter Scott, "seems, from the 
names of the personages and the nature of the adventure, to have 
been an old metrical romance, degraded into a ballad by the lapse of 
time and the corruption of reciters. 

"Such transformations as the son^ narrates are common in the 
annals of chivalry. In the 2oth and 26th cantos of the second book 
of the Orlando Inamorato, the paladin, Brandimarte, after sur- 
mounting many obstacles, penetrates into the recesses of an enchanted 
palace. Here he finds a fair damsel seated upon a tomb, who 
announces to him that, in order to achieve her deliverance, he must 
raise the lid of the sepulchre, and kiss whatever being should issue 
forth. The knight, having pledged his faith, proceeds to open the 
tomb, out of which a monstrous snake issues forth with a tremendous 
hiss. Brandimarte, with much reluctance, fulfils the bizarre con- 
ditions of the adventure, and the monster is instantly changed into 
a beautiful fairy, who loskds her deliverer with benefits. 

"There is a ballad somewhat resembling 'Eempion,' called *The 
Laidley Worm of Spindleston-heugh,' which is very popular upon the 
Borders; The most common version was either entirely composed, 
or re-written, by the Reverend Mr. Lamb of Norham." — Minstrelsy , 
vol. iil, p. 230. 

Mr. Motherwell considers that the copy given by him "preserves 
in fi;reater purity the name of the hero than any other yet published ;" 
ana adds, " He was, no doubt, the same Ewein, or Owain, ap Urien, 
the king of Reged, who is celebrated by the bards Talicssin and 
Uywar^-Hen, as weU as in the Welch Historical Triades." — 
MimtreUy, Introduction, p. Ixxxiii, note 92. 

Sir Ewein was nephew to King Arthur, and cousin of Sir Gawein, 
who "loved" him "beste of alle other."* Segramour is styled 
"nevew to the Emperour of Constantynnoble j"t and both are cele- 
brated among the knights of King Arthur. 

1 Her mother died when she was yonng, 

Which gave her cause to make great moan ; 
Her father married the warst woman 
That ever lived in Christendom. 

• Merlin; or. The Early History of King Arthur^ p. io^ PaWsbed by Early 
English Text Society. 

t Same work, p. 873, 

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2 Dove Isabel, with foot and hand, 

In every thing that she could do, 
Did serve her wicked stepmother 
With servitude baith leal and true ; 

3 Till ance in an unlucky time, 

When nane were near to hear nor see, 
This wicked witch to her did call, 
"Come here, dove Isabel, to me. 

4 " Come here, come here, ye freely feed,* 

And lay your head low on my knee ; 
The heaviest weird I will you read 
That ever was read to gay ladye. 

5 " Oh, meikle dolour shall ve dree, 

And aye the salt seas snail ye swim ; 
And far mair dolour shall ye dree, 
On Estmere crags, when ye them climb. 

6 "I weird ye to a fiery beast, 

And borrowed shall ye never be. 
Till Kemp Owyne, the king's own son, 
Come to the crag, and thrice kiss thee." 

7 The wicked witch, her stepmother, 

Then threw her in the craigy sea, 

Saying — " Lye you there, dove Isabel, 

And all my sorrows lye with thee. 

8 " Let all the world do what they will, 

Else borrow'd shall you never be. 
Till Kemp Owyne come o*er the sea. 
And borrow you with kisses three." 

D Her breath grew Strang, her hair grew lang, 
And twisted thrice about the tree ; 
And all the people far and near 
Thought tnat a savage beast was she. 

10 Oh, meikle dolour did she dree, 

And aye the salt seas o'er she swam ; 
And far mair dolour did she dree 
On Estmere crags, ere she them clamb. 

11 And aye she cried for Kemp Owyne, 

" Kemp Owyne, come and borrow me I " 
Till word has gane to Kemp Owyne, 
Where he lived far beyond the sea. 

• U^ "frely," « 

*Sie Scott's A/imtrOty; bat should probably read "frely feyd: 
Doble QT beftutilul woman; "feTd,** or aoomed to deatrnotiOQ. 

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12 " Now, by my sooth," said Kemp Owyne, 

" This nery beast 1*11 gang and see." 
" And, by my sooth," said Segramour, 
**My ae brother, Fll gang with thee." 

13 Then bigged ha^e they a bonnie boat. 

And they ha^e set her to the sea ; 
But a mile before they reached the shore, 
Round them she gart the red fire flee. 

14 " Oh, Segramour, plv weel your oar, 

And mind ye weel how ye do steer ; 
For this wicked beast will fire the boat, 
If we to it do come ower near." 

15 Syne ho has bent an arblast bow. 

And aim'd an an-ow at her head ; 
And swore, if she did not hold back, 
With that same shaft to shoot her dead. 

16 " Oh, out of my sty the I winna rise 

(And it is not for the awe of thee), 
Till Kemp Owyne, the king's own son, 
Come to the crag, and thrice kiss me." 

17 Her breath was Strang, her hair was lan^;, 

And twisted thrice about the tree ; 
And with a swing she came about, — 
" Kemp Owyne, come and kiss with me. 

18 " Here is a royal belt," she cried, 

'^ That I have found in the green sea ; 
And while your body it is on, 

Drawn snail your blood never be ; 
But if you toucn me tail or fin, 

I vow my belt your death shall be." 

19 He louted o'er, gave her a kiss. 

The royal belt he brought him wi' j 
Her breath was Strang, her hair was lang, 

And twisted twice about the tree ; 
And with a swing she came about, — 

" Kemp Owyne, come and kiss with mo. 

20 " Here is a royal ring," she said, 

" That I have found in the green sea ; 
And while your finger it is on, 

Drawn shall your blood never be ; 
But if you toucli me tail or fin, 

I swear my ring your death shall be," 

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21 He louted o*er, gave her a kiss^ 

The royal ring he hrought him wi* ; 
Her hreath was Strang, her hair was lang, ' 

And twisted ance around the tree ; 
And with a swing she came about, — 

" Kemp Owyne, come and kiss with me. 

22 " Here is a royal brand," she said, 

" That I have found in the green sea ; 
And while your body it is on, 

Drawn shall your blood never be ; 
But if you touch me tail or fin, 

I swear my brand your death shall be." 

23 He louted o'er, gave her a kiss. 

The royal brand he brought him wi' ; 
Her breath was sweet, her hair grew short, 

And twisted nane about tlie tree ; 
And smilingly she came about, 

As fair a woman as fair could be. 

24 "And by my sooth," says Kemp Owyne, 

" My ain true love (for this is she). 
They surely had a heart of stane 
Could put thee to such miserie. 

25 " Oh, was it warwolf in the wood, 

Or was it mermaid in the sea ? 
Or was it man, or vile woman, 
My ain true love, that misshaped thee ? " 

26 " It was na warwolf in the wood. 

Nor was it mermaid in the sea ; 
But it was my wicked stepmother, 
And wae and weary may she be I " 

27 " Oh, a heavier weird shall light her on 

Than ever she made light on thee ; 
Her hair shall grow rough, and her teeth grow lang, 
And on her four feet gang shall she. 

28 " Nane shall take pity her upon. 
And borrowed shall she never be ; 

But in Wormeswood she aye shall won. 
Till St. Miingo* come o'er the sea." 
And, sighing, said that weary wight — 
"I doubt that day I'll never see ! " 

♦ OrStKentigern, the patron saint of Qlangow. 

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"This ballad is published from the collation of two copies, 
obtained from recitation. It seems to be the rude ori^^inal, or perhaps 
a comipted and imperfect copy, of * The Child of ELle,' a beautiful 
legendary tale, pubbshed in Percy's Reliquea of Ancient Poetry, It 
is singnlar that this charming ballad should have been translated or 
imitated by the celebrated Burger, without acknowledgment of the 
English originaL As * The Child of Elle' avowedly received correc- 
tions, we may ascribe its &:reatest beauties to the poetical taste of the 
ingenious editor."— Sir Walter Scott, Minstrelsy^ voL ii., p. 351. 

It is now quite certain that the Percy folio MS. " merely suggested 
the poem which the editor of the Heliques wrote and printed." 
The fragment, as it appears in the MS. (p. 67), and in the genuine 
text, as printed by the Early English Text Society (vol. i., p. 132), 

&c., are Scotish and English ballad versions, corresponmng to 
**Ribolt og Guldborg," or the kindred ballad, "Hildebrand og 
Hilde," of both which numerous versions exist in Danish and Swedish ; 
while of the former there are also three in Icelandic, and two in 
Norse. An inferior copy of "Eibolt og Guldborg," translated into 
Scotish verse by Jamieson, was printed in Illustrations of Northern 
ArUi^Uies, p. 317 ; and '* Hildeorand og Hilde " has recently been 
admirably rendered in English verse by Mr. Robert Buchanan, in 
Ballad Stories of the Affections, p. 15. 

In the Introduction to his translation of " Ribolt and Guldborg," 
Mr. Jamieson remarks, that "those who wish to see from what kind of 
materials these tales [it, 'Erlinton,' &c.] have been fabricated, may 
compare this piece with the romantic story of Sir Sampson and 
Hildesvida, the daughter of Jarl Budgeir, with which the ' Wilkina 
Saga ' commences." 

" *Erlington * is much mutilated, and has a perverted conclusion, 
but retains," in lines 69 and 60, " a faint trace of one charac- 
teristic, and even fundamental trait of the older forms of the story, 
which is not found in any of the other [Scotish or] English versions." 

It is founded on "a northern superstition, that to call a man by 
name while he was engaged in fight was a fatal omen ; and hence a 
phrase, * to name-to-death.* To avert this danger, Ribolt, in nearly 
all the Scandinavian ballads, entreats Guldborg not to pronounce his 
namSf even if she sees him bleeding or struck down. In her agony 
at seeing the last of her brothers about to be slain, Guldborg forgets 
her lover's injunction, calls on him by name to stop, and thus bnngs 
about the catastrophe. Ignorant reciters have either dropped the 
corresponding j^assage in the English ballad, or (as in this case) have 
so corrupted it, that its signiiictince is only to be made out by com- 
parison with the ancient copies."— Prof. Child, EngUsh and Scottish 
ialladSy vol ii, p, 114, and vol iii, p. 223. 

The explanatory foot-notes [marked S.] we from the pen of Sir 
Walter Scott, * 

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1 Erlinton had a fair daughter, 

I wot he weired her in a great sin ; * 
For he has built a bigly bower, 
And all to put that lady in. 

2 And he has warned her sisters six, 

And sae has he her brethren seven, 
Either to watch her all the night, 
Or else to seek her mom and even. 

3 She hadna been in that bigly bower 

Not a night, but barely ane, 
Till there was Willie, her ain true love, 
Chapp'd at the door, crying — " Peace within ! " 

4 "Oh, whae is this at my bower door, 

That chaps sae late, or kens the gin ? " f 
" Oh, it is Willie, your ain true love ; 
I pray you rise and let me in ! " 

5 " Within my bower there is a waik, 

And of the waik there is nae wane ; % 
But ril come to the green- wood the morn, 
Where blooms the brier, by momin' dawn." 

C Then she has gane to her bed again. 

Where she has layen till the cock crew thrico ; 
And then she said to her sisters all — 
" Maidens, 'tis time for us to rise." 

7 She put on her back a silken gown, 

And on her breast a siller pin. 
And she 's ta*en a sister in ilka hand, 
And to the green- wood she is gane. 

8 She hadna walked in the gude green-wood, 

Na, not a mile but barely ane. 
Till there was Willie, her ain true love, 
Whae frae her sisters has her ta'en. 

* ** Weired her in a great sin: " placed her in danger of committing a great sin. [SI 
Bead "weised," from "weiso," to incline, to induce. German, "weisen," to lead 
Inta Or "weired" may be deriyed from " weire," to gnard; and this from "weir" 
donbtt or fear : " belgic raer," fear— Anglo-Saxon. " waere," caution. See Jamieson s 
Scottish Dktionary. I. e^ her father ** feared," and "guarded " againat what he appre- 

t "Gin: " the slight or trick necessary to open the door. [S.] 

} " Wane: ** a number of people. [S.] Scott's text of the first two lines of stanza G 

" But in my bower there is a wake, 
And at the wake there is a wane; " 
ivgardlng which, it may be remarked, that the spelling and note on "wane " make 
theer nonsense of the yerse. "Walk" means YTAtoh; an4 "wane," wanti defect 

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9 He took her sisters by the hand, 

He kissed them baith, and sent them hame ; 
And he 's ta^en his true loye him behind, 
And through the green-wood they are gane. 

10 They hadna ridden in the bonnie green-wood, 

Na, not a mile but barely ane, 
When there came fifteen of the boldest knights 
That ever bare flesh, blood, or bane. 

11 The foremost was an a^ed kuight. 

He wore the gray hair on his chin ; 
Says — " Yield to me thy lady bright, 
And thou shalt walk the woods within." 

12 " For me to yield my lady bright, 

To such an aged knight as thee, 
People wou'd think I were gane mad. 
Or all the courage flown frae me.'* 

13 But up then spake the second knight, — 

I wot he spake right boustouslie, — 

" Yield me thy life, or thy ladv bright, 

Or here the tane * of us shall die." 

H " My lady is my world's meed, 
My life I winna yield to nane; 
But if ye be men of true manhood, 
Ye'lf only fight me ane by ane." 

15 He lighted off his milk-white horse, 

And gae 'm his lady by the head. 
Saying — " See you dinna change your cheer, 
Until you see my body bleed." 

16 He set his back into an aik, 

He set his feet against a stane; 
And he has fought these fifteen men, 

And kill'd them all but barely ane; 
But he has left the aged knight. 

For to carry the tidings hame. 

17 When he gaed to his lady fair, 

I wot he kiss'd her tenderlie ; 
** Thou'rt mine ain love, I have thee bought; 
And we shall walk the green-wood free." 

♦"Tane:" one or other. 

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'* The ballad of * The Douglas Tragedy ' is one of the few to 
which popnlar tradition has ascribed complete locality. The farm 
of Blackhoase, in Selkirkshire, is said to have been the scene of this 
melancholy event. There are the remains of a very ancient tower, 
adjacent to the farm-house, in a wild solitary glen, upon a torrent 
named Douglas Bum, which joins the Yarrow after passing a cragey 
rock called the Douglas Craig. From this ancient tower, Lady 
Maigaret is said to mive been carried by her lover. Seven lai^o 
stones, erected upon the neighbouring heights of Blackhouse, are 
shown as marking the spot where the seven Brothers were slain ; and 
the Douglas Bum is averred to have been the stream at which the 
lovers stopped to drink. So minute is tradition in ascertaining the 
scene of a traffical tale, which, considering the rude state of former 
times, had probably foundation in some real event. 

"Many copies of this ballad are current among the vulgar, but 
chiefl}r in a state of great corruption, especially such as have been 
committed to the press in the snape of penny pamphlets. One of 
these is now before me, which, among many others, has the ridiculous 
error of * blue gilded hom,^ for ' bugelet horn.' The copy principally 
used in this [Scott's] edition of the ballad was suppli^ by Mr. 
Charles K. Sharpe. The three last verses are given from the printed 
copy, and from tradition. The hackneyed verse, of the rose and the 
bner springing from the grave of the lovers, is common to most 
tragic balliMs; but it is introduced into this with sin^lar propriety, 
as the chapel of St. Mary, whose vestiges may be still laraoea upon 
the lake to which it has nven name, is said to have been the bunal- 
i^aoe of Lord William and fair Marsaret. The wrath of the Black 
Douglas, which vented itself upon tne brier, far surpasses the usual 
stanza: — 

* At length cune the derk of the parish, 
As yon the troth shall hear. 
And hy mischance he cat them down, 
Or else they had still been there.* " 

-Sir W. Scott, Minstrelsy^ voL iii., p. 3. 

Motherwell adopted ** the copy given in the work from which the 
above extract has been taken; " and says, *' any recited copy that 
we have heard has been incomplete, wanting not only the circum- 
stance of the lovers halting at tne stream, but likewise that of their 
death and burial." 

The latter editor appended to his prefatory note, above quoted, 
five verses of an incomplete ' * recited copy, " such as he refers to. This 
fragment "supplies variations," some of which are here adopted iu 
verses 4, 6, and 8. Other slight alterations have been made on the 
verses named, and also on most of the subsec^uent verses— generally by 
repetition of one or two words from preceding lines— so as to restore 
the uniform harmony of the metre ; but in no case has the sense, or 
ordinary phraseology of the ballad, been tampered with. 

With reference to Sir Walter Scott's remarks on the localities of 
this ballad, as above quoted, and a similar identification as to place 

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of some of the incidents in "Bibolt and Otddborg/' by Grondtyig 
(pp. 342-3), the following observation of Jamieson, relative to the 
transposition of person, and of the unities of time and place, to widely 
different scenes and periods of action, is peculiarly applicable: — 

'Topnlar tales and anecdotes of every kind soon obtain locality 
wherever they are told ; and the intelligent and attentive traveUer 
will not be surprised to find the same story which he had learned 
when a child, with every appropriate drcnmstance of names, time, 
and place, in a glen of Morven, Lochabcr, or Rannoch, equally 
domesticated among the mountains of Norway, Caucasus, or Thibet.'' 
^Illustrations qf Jsorthem AnHgvUiea^ p. 317. 

1 " Rise up, rise up, now, Lord Douglas," she says, 

"And put on your armour so bright ; 
Let it never be said that a daughter of thine 
Was married to a lord under night. 

2 " Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons, 

And put on your armour so bright ; 
And take better care of your youngest sister, 
For your eldest 'b away the last night." 

3 He *8 mounted her on a milk-white steed, 

And himself on a dapple gray, 
With a bugelet horn hung dowp by his side, 
And lightly they baith rade away. 

4 Lord William look'd over his left shoulder — ^ 

He look'd to see what he could see — 
And ho spy'd her father and brethren bold, 
Come riding hastily over the lea. 

5 " Light down, light down, Lady Marg'ret," he said, 

"And hold my steed in your hand. 
Until that against your seven brethren bold. 
And your father I make a stand." 

G She held his steed in her milk-white hand. 
But spake not, nor shed not a tear, 
Until that she saw her seven brethren fall. 
And the blood of her father so dear. 

7 " Oh, hold your hand. Lord William ! " she said, 

" For your strokes they are wondrous sair ; 
True lovers I can get many a ane, 
But a father I can never get mair." 

8 Oh, she 's ta'en her kerchief from off her neck- 

It was of the holland sae fine — 
And aye she wiped her father's bloody wounds, 
That were redder than the wine. 

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9 " Oh chuse, oh chnse, Lady Marg'ret," he said, 
" Oh, whether will ye gang or bide ? " 
" ril gang, I'll gang, Lord William," she said, 
" Ye have left me no other guide." 

10 He's lifted her on a milk-white steed, 

And himself on a dapple gray, 
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side. 
And filowly they baith rade away. 

11 Oh, they rade slowly and sadly on, 

And all by the light of the moon ; 
They rade till they came to von wan water, 
And there they alighted them down. 

12 They alighted them down to take a drink 

Of the water that ran so clear; 
And down the stream ran his gude heart's blood, 
And sair Lady Marg'ret did fear. 

13 " Hold up, hold up. Lord William," she says, 

" For 1 fear me that you are slain I" 

" 'Tis but the shadow of my scarlet cloak 

That shines in the water sae plain." 

14 Oh, they rade slowly and sadly on, 

And all by the light of the moon. 
Until they came to his mother's hall door. 
And there they alighted them down. 

15 " Get up, get up, lady mother," he says, 

" Get up, get up and let me in I — 
Get up, get up, lady mother," he says, 
"For this night my fair lady I've win. 

10 " Oh, make my bed, lady mother," he says, 
" Oh, make my bed baith braid and deep! 
And lay Lady Marg'ret close at my back, 
And the sounder we baith will sleep." 

17 Lord William was dead lang ere midnight. 

Lady Marg'ret was dead lang ere day ; 
And all true lovers that go thcgither. 
May they have better Tuck than they I 

18 Lord William was buried in St. Mario's kirk, 

Lady Marg'ret in St. Marie's quire ; 
Out of the lady's grave grew a red rose, 
And out of the knighVs grew a bner, 

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19 And they twa they met, and they twa they plat, 

As if full fain they wou'd be near ; 
Sae that all the world might ken right wcel 
That they grew frae twa lovers dear.* 

20 But by chance that way the Black Douglas rade, 

And wow but he was rude and rough ! 
For he pulPd up the bonnie, bonnie brier, 
And flang it in St. Marie^s Loch. 


"Taken down from the recitation of an old fiddler in Northum- 
berland. The refrain should be repeated in every verse."— Bell's 
Ancient Poems, Ballads, atid Songs, &c., p. 122. 

Verse 2 has been slightly altered in the interest of delicacy and 

Verses 5 and 6 are here inserted in place of verse 6 of the origioal, 
which reads, — 

'' Ob, Earl Brand, bat my father has two, 
And thou shftU have tho best of tho'.** 

An hiatus, in verse 11, has been filled by the addition of the four 
last words, while the last word, of the first line of the same verse, 
has been changed for the sake of the rhyme. Three words have also 
been added to verse 26. 

The alterations and additions referred to are sanctioned by, and 
mostly derived from, a similar ballad, named "Lcesome Brand," 
which appears in a subsequent portion of this work. 

1 Oh, did jrou ever hear of the brave Earl Brand, 

Hey lillie, ho lillie lallie; 
He courted the king's daughter of fair England, 
In the brave nights so early. 

2 She was scarcely fifteen years old, 
When to Earl Brand she came right bold. 

* If the teBtimony of numerous minstrels in dilforcnt lands and ages may bo 
credited, the miracle here narrated in stanzas 18 and 19 was " frequently witnessed 
orer the graves of faithful lovers. King Mark, according to the German romance, 
planted a rose on Tristan's grave, and a vine on that of Isold, llio roots srnick 
down Into the very hearts of the dead lovers, and the stems twined lovingly 
together, llie French account Is somewhat different. An eglantine sprung from 
the tomb of Tristan, and twisted Itself round the monument of Isold. It was cut 
dojrn three times, but grew up cvory morning fresher than before; po that it was 
allowed to stand.** Several other instances of this miraculous phenomenon occur 
In this volume; in Swedish, Danish, and Breton ballad lore; "in a ^^erviln tale, 
cited by Salvl (Vertucfi, &c, p. 130); and In an Afghan poem, describad hy Elp'.iin- 
none " (Account of Ott Kinf;d m o/ Ca(»M/, vol. 1., p. 'i'^'i).— Prof. Child'a En'jUih and 
ScoitUh liaUiXiify vol U., p. 119. 

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3 "Oh, Earl Brand, how fain would I see 
A pack of hounds let loose on the lea." 

4 " Oh, lady fah', I have no steed but one; 
But thou shalt ride, and I will run." 

5 " Go, Earl Brand, to my father's stable, 
And bring nie a palfrey wight and able." 

6 Earl Brand he did as the lady bade. 

And when they were mounted, away they rade. 

7 Now they have ridden o'er moss and moor. 
And they have met neither rich nor poor ; 

8 Till at last thev met with old Carl Hood,— 
He 's aye for ill, and never for good. 

9 " Now, Earl Brand, an* ye love me, 
Slay this old carl, and gar him dee." 

10 " Oh, lady fair, but that would be sair, 
To slay an old carl that wears gray hair ; 

11 " My own lady fair, I'll not do so ; 
I'll pay him his fee, and let him go." 

12 " Oh, where have ye ridden this lee-lang day, 
And where have ye stown this fair lady away?*' 

13 " I have not ridden this lee-lang day, 
Nor yet have I stown this lady away ; 

14 " For she is, I trow, my sick sister, 

Whom I have been bringing frae Winchester.'* 

15 "If she 's been sick, and like to die. 
What makes her wear the gold so high ? " 

16 When came the carl to her father's yett. 
He loudly and rudely rapp'd thereat. 

17 " Now, where is the lady of this hall ? " 

" She 's out with her maids a-playing at the ball." 

18 " Ha, ha, ha ! ye are all mista'en, 

Ye may count your maidens o'er again. 

19 " I met her far beyond the lea, 

With the young Earl Brand, his leman to be.** 

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20 Her father of his best men armed fifteen, 
And they're ridden after them bidene. 

21 The lady look'd o'er her left shoulder then, 
And saw her father and his fifteen men ; 

22 Says — " Oh, Earl Brand, we are both of us ta'en. 
And it fears me much that you will be slain/' 

23 " Oh, if they come on me one by one, 
You may stand by till the fights be done ; 

24 " But if they come on me one and all, 
Then you may stand by and see me falL" 

25 They came upon him one by one, 
Till fourteen oattles he has won; 

26 And fourteen F brave] men he has them slain, 
Each after each [they fell] on the plain. 

27 But the fifteenth man behind him stole round, 
And dealt him a deep and a deadly wound; 

28 But though he was wounded to the deid, 
He set his fair lady again on her steed. 

29 They rode till they came to the river Doune, 
And there they alighted to wash his wound. 

30 " Ob, Earl Brand, I see your heart's blood ! " 

" It's nothing but the glent and my scarlet hood.' 

31 They rode till they came to his mother's yett ; 
So faintly and feebly he rapp'd thereat. 

82 ** Oh, my son 's slain, he is falling to swoon. 
And it's all for the sake of an English loon." 

33 " Oh, say not so, my dearest mother, 
But marry her to my youngest brother." 

34 To a maiden true he will give his hand, 

Hey lillie, ho lillie lallie; 
To the king's daughter of fair England, 
To a prize won by a slain brother's brand, 

In the brave nights so early. 

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From Buchan^s Ancient Ballads aivd Songs, yoL l, p. 30. 

In Bome portioBB of the story this ballad resembles '' The Douglas 
Tragedy," and other kindred ballads, which immediately pre^e 
this; and also "Lady Elspat," "Sweet WDlie and Lady Margerie," 
and "Clerk Saunders," wnic^ immediately follow this, m tho order 

1 " There are sixteen lang miles, I'm sure, 

Between my love and me ; 
There are eight of them on gudo dry land, 
And other eight by sea. 

2 '' Betide me life, betide me deatli, 

My love 1*11 gang and see ; 
Altho' her friends they do me hato, 
Her love is great for me. 

3 " Of my coat Til make a boat, 

And of my sark a sail ; 
And of my cane a gude topmast, 
Dry land till I come till." 

^ Then of his coat he made a boat, 
And of his sark a sail; 
And of his cane a gude topmast, 
Dry land till he come till. 

6 Then he is on to Annie's bow*r. 
And tirrd at tho pin ; 
*' Oh, sleep ye, wake ye, love Annie ? 
Rise up, and let me in." 

6 ** Oh, who is this at my bowV door, 

Sae well that kens my name ? " 

** It is your true love, sweet Willie ^ 

For you IVe crossed the faem." 

7 " I am deeply sworn, Willie, 

By father and by mother, 
At kirk or market where we meet, 
We darena own each other. 

8 " And I am deeply sworn, Willie, 

By my bauld brothers three, 
At kirk or market where we meet, 
X darena speak to thee. 

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9 "Ye take your red fan in your hand, 
Your white fan o'er your een, 
And ye may swear, and save your oath. 
You saw na me come in." 

10 She 's ta'en her red fan in her hand, 

The white fan o'er her een ; 
It was to swear and save her oath, 
She saw na him come in. 

1 1 They hadna kiss'd, nor yet love clappM, 

As lovers do when they meet, 
Till up it starts her auld mither 
At her bauld sons' bed feet. 

12 " Win up, win up, my three bauld sons, 

Win up, and make ye boun' ; 
Your sister's lover 'a in her bow'r. 
As ye lye sleeping soun'." 

13 Then up it raise her three bauld sons. 

With swords baith sharp and strung, 
And they are to their sister's bow'r 
As fast as they could gang. 

1^ When they came to their sister's bow'r, 
They sought it up and down ; 
But there was neither man nor boy 
In her bow'r to be foun'. 

15 Then out it speaks the first of them — 
" We'll gang and let her be ; 
For there is neither man nor boy 
Intill her companie." 

IG Then out it speaks the second son — 
" Our travel 's all in vain ; 
But mother dear, nor father dear, 
Snail break our rest again." 

17 Then out it speaks the third of them, 

(An ill death mat he die I) — 
** We'll lurk amang the bent sae brown. 
That Willie we may see." 

18 He stood behind his love's curtains. 

His goud rings show'd him light ; 
And by this ye may all weel guess 
He was a renown'd knight. 

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19 He '8 doDe him to his love's stable, 

Took out his berry-brown steed ; 
His love stood in her bow'r door, 
Her heart was like to bleed. 

20 " Oh, mourn ye for my coming, love ? 

Or for my short staying? 
Or mourn ye for our safe sind*ring, 
Case we never meet again?" 

21 " I mourn nae for your hero coming, — 

To meet ye I am fain ; 
Nor mourn I for our safe sind'ring, — 
I hope we*ll meet again. 

22 " I wish ye may won safe away, 

And safely frae the town ; 
For ken ye not my brothers three 
Are 'mang the bent sae brown ? " 

23 " If I were on my nut-brown steed, 

And three miles frae the town, 
I wouldna fear your bauld brothers, 
Amang the bent sae brown.'' 

24 He lean'd him o'er his saddle bow, 

And kiss'd her. lips sae sweet ; 
The tears that fell between these twa, 
They wet his great steed's feet. 

25 But he wasna on his nut-brown steed, 

Nor twa miles frae the town, 
Till up it starts these three fierce men, 
Amang the bent sae brown. 

26 Then up they came, these three fierce men, 

When one did loudly say, — 
" Bide still, bide still, ye cowardly youtls 
What makes you haste away ? 

27 " For I must know before you go, 

Tell me, and make nae he; 
If ye've been in my sister's bow'r, 
My hands shall gar yo die." 

28 ** Though I've been in your sister's bowV, 

I have nae fear of thee ; 
rU stand my ground, and fiercely fight, 
^nd shall gain victorie," 

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29 '* Now I entreat you for to stay, 
Unto us give gude heed ; 
If ye our words do not obey, 
rse gar your body bleed.'* 

80 " I have nae armour," says Willie, 
^* Unless it be my brand ; 
And that shall guard my fair body, 
Till I win frae your hand." 

31 Then twa of them stepped in behind, 

All in a furious meed; 
The third of them came him before, 
And seizM his nut-brown steed. 

32 Oh, then he drew his trusty brand, 

That hung down by his gare ; 
And he has slain these three fierce men, 
And left them sprawling there. 

33 Then word has gane to their mother, 

la bed where she slept soun', 
That Willie had kill'd her three bauld sons, 
Amang the bent sae brown* 

3^ Then she has cut the locks that hung 
Sae low down by her e'e ; 
Sae has she kiltit her green claithing 
A little aboon her knee. 

35 And she has on to the king's court, 

As fast as gang could she ; 
When fair Annie got word of that. 
Was there as soon as she. 

36 Her mother went before the king, 

Fell low down on her knee ; 
" Win up, win up, my dame," he said, 
" What is your will with me? " 

37 " My wills they are not small, my liege, 

The truth ril tell to thee : 
There is ane of your courtly knights 
That last night has robb*d mo." 

88 "And has he broke your bigly bow'rs, 
Or has he stole your fee ? 
There is nae knight into my court 
Last night has been frae me ; 

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39 " Unless 'twas Willie of Lauderdale, 

Forbid that it be he I" 
"And by my sooth," says the auld woman, 
" That very man is he. 

40 " For he has broke my bigly bowVs, 

And he has stole my fee; 
And made my daughter his leman. 
And an ill woman is she. 

41 " That was not all he did to me, 

Ere he went frae the town ; 
My sons sae true ho fiercely slew, 
Amang the bent sae brown." 

42 Then out it spake her daughter Ann, — 

She stood by the king's knee, — 
" Ye lie, ye lie, my mother dear, 
Sae loud 's I hear you lie. 

43 *' He has not broke your bigly bowVs, 

Nor has he stole your fee ; 
Nor made your daughter his leman, — 
A good woman I'll be. 

44 " And he might be forgiven, though 

Your three bauld sons he 's slain ; 
They were well clad in armour bright, 
1^ love with brand alane." 

45 " Well spoke, well spoke," the king replied, 

" This talking pleases me ; 
For ae kiss of your lovely mouth 
I'll set your true love free." 

46 She's ta'en the king in her arms twa, 

And kiss'd him cheek and chin ; 
He then set her behind her love, 
And they went singing hame. 


From Jamieson's Popular BallacU, voL ii, p. 101, where it is said 
to be given '* from the recitation of Mrs. Brown." 

1 " How brent 's your brow, my Lady Elspat I 
How gowden yellow is your hair I 
Of all the maids of fair Scotland, 
There 's nane like Lady Elspat fair." 

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2 " Perform your vows, sweet William," she says, 
" The vows which you have made to me ; 
And at the back of my mither's castle 
This night Til surely meet with thee." 

5 But wae be to her brother's page, 

That heard the words the twa did say ; 
Ho tauld them to her lady mither, 

Wha wrought sweet William mickle wae. 

4 For she has ta'en him, sweet William, 

And she gar'd bind him with his bow string, 
Till the red bluid of his fair body 
Frae ilka nail of his hand did spring. 

5 Oh, it fell ance u{)on a time. 

That the Lord-justice came to town; 
Out has she ta'en him, sweet William,; 
Brought him before the Lord-justice boun'. 

6 " And what is the crime now, lady," he says, 

" That has by this young man been done?" 
" Oh, he has broken my bonnie castle, 
That was wecl biggit with lime and stone ; 

7 " And he has broken my bonnie coffer. 

That was weel bandit with aiken band; 
And he has stown my rich jewels, 
My jewels costly rare and grand." 

8 Then out it spake fair Lady El spat, 

As she sat by Lord-justice knee; 
" Now ye ha'e told your tale, mither, 
I pray, Lord-justice, ye'll now hear me. 

9 " He hasna broken her bonnie castle, 

That was weel biggit with lime and stone; 
Nor has he stown her rich jewels; 
For I wot she has them every one. 

10 But though he was my first true love, 

And though I had sworn to be his bride. 
Because he hasna a great estate, 
She wou'd this day our loves divide." 

11 Syne out and spake the Lord-justice — 

I wot the tear was in his e'e,— 
" I see na faut in this young man; 
Sae loose his bands, and set him free. 

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12 " And take your love, now, Lady Elspat, 

And my best blessing ye baith upon; 
For if he be your first true love, 
He is my eldest sister's son. 

13 " There stands a steed in my stable, 

Cost me baith gold and white money; 
Ye 's get as mickle of my free land 
As hell ride about in a summer's day." 


" This ballad/' says Mr. Motherwell, ** which possesses considerable 
beauty and pathos, is given from the recitation of a lady now far 
advanced in years, with whose grandmother it was a deserved 
fftvomite. It is now for the first time printed." — MinsireUp, Andent 
and Modem, p. 370. 

Buchan stvles Motherwell's *' an imperfect copy," and gives 
another and longer ballad " on a similar subject," under the HUe 
of "Willie and Lady Maisry."— il«ci«n< Ballads atid Songs, vol. i, 
p. 156. 

The present version is compiled from both. It not only resembles 
"The Bent sae Brown," p. 35, but also "Clerk Saunders," the 
ballad which follows this, as well as "Johnnie Scott," and "Lang 
Johnnie Moir," which subsequently appear. 

1 Sweet Willie was a widow's son. 

And he wore a milk-white weed, ; 
And weel could Willie read and write, 
Far better ride on steed, 0. 

2 Lady Margerie was the first ladve 

That drank to him the wine, ; 
And aye as the healths gaed round and round, 
" Laddie, your love is mine, 0." 

3 Lady Margerie was the first ladye 

That drank to him the beer, ; 
And aye as the healths gaed round and round, 
" Laddie, ye're welcome here, 0. 

4 " You must come intill my bowV, 

When the evening bells do ring, ; 
And you must come intill my bow'r. 
When the evening mass doth sing, 0." 

5 He 's ta'en four-and- twenty braid arrows. 

And laced them in a whang, ; 
And he 'a awa to Lady Margerie's bow'r, 
As fast as he can gang, 0. 

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6 He set his ae foot on the wall, 

And the other on a etane, ; 
And he *8 kill'd all the king's life guards, 
He 's kill'd them every man, 0. 

7 Then he is on to Margerie's bowV, 

And tirrd at the pin, ; 
" Oh, open, open, Lady Margerie, 
Open and let me in, 0." 

8 With her feet as white as sleet, 

She strode her bowV within, 0; 

And with her fingers lang and small, 

She *B looten sweet Willie in, 0. 

9 She 's looted down unto his foot, 

To louze sweet Willie's shoon, 0; 

The buckles they were stiff with bluid, 

That on them had drapt doon, 0. 

10 " What frightful sight is this, my love, 

Is this that I do see, ? 
What bluid is this yeVe oloated with, 
I pray you tell to me, 0." 

11 " As I came thro' the woods this night, 

A wolf maist worried me, 0; 
Oh, shou'd I slain the wolf, Margerie? 
Or shou'd it worried me, 0? " 

12 « Willie, Willie, I fear that thou 

Hast bred me dule and sorrow; 
The deed that thou hast done this night. 
Will kythe upon the morrow." 

13 They had not kiss'd, nor yet love clapp'd, 

As lovers when they meet, 0; 
Till up it starts her auld father 
Out of his drowsy sleep, 0. 

14 Then he is on to Margerie's bowV, 

And tirPd at the pin, ; 
Saying—" Wake ye, daughter Margerie, 
Wake up, and let me in, 0." 

15 Between the curtains and the wall, 

She had her lover in, ; 
Then hooly to the door she went, 
And let her father in, 0. 

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16 " What 's become of your Maries all, 

That nane your bow'r are Id, ? 
What 'b become of your green coverin ff, 
That your beds tney are sae thin, Of " 

17 " Oh, Gnde forgi'e you, father," she said, 

" That you even me to sin, ; 
That you dread me for, and watch me for, 
But never find me in, 0." 

18 He tum'd him right and round about. 

As he'd been gaun awa, ; 
But stealthily he slippet in 
Behind a screen sae sma', 0. 

10 Sweet Willie came frae his retreat, 
And ere they were aware, 0, 
Her auld father did cive to nim 
A deep wound ana a sair, 0. 

20 " Oh, Gude forgi*e you, father," she said, 

" Forgi'e this deadly sin, ; 
That thus my ain true love is slain 
By you, my bow'r within, 1 " 

21 " This night he slew my gude bold watch, 

Thirty stout men and twa, ; 

And likewise slew your ae brother, 

To me was worth them a', 0." 

22 " If he has slain my ae brother, 

The blame it was his ain, ; 

For many a day he plots contrived 

To ha'e sweet Willie slain, 0. 

23 " Tho' he has slain your gude bold watch. 

He might ha'e been forgi'en, : 
For they came on him in armour oright, 
As alane he crossed the green, 0. 

24 "Oh, Gude forgi'e you, my auld father, 

For the ill youVe made me dree, ; 

For ye've killed Willie, the widow's son, 

And he would have married me, 0/' 

25 She tum'd her back unto the room, 

Her face unto the wa', ; 
And with a deep and heavy sigh, 
Her heart it brake in twa, 0. 

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First published by Sir Walter Scott, Minstrelsy of the Scottish 
Border, vol iii., p. 175. 

"This romantic ballad/' says Sir Walter, "is taken from Mr. 
Herd's MSS., with several corrections from a shorter and more im- 
perfect copy, in the same volume, and one or two coinectnral 
emendations in the arrangement of the stanzas. The resemblance of 
the conclnsion to the ballad beginning, * There came a ghost to 
Margaret's door,' will strike every reader. The tale is uncommonly 
wild and beautifril, and apparently very correct. The custom of the 
passing bell is still kept up in many villages in Scotland. The 
sexton goes through the town ringing a small bell, and announcing 
the death of the departed, and the time of the funeraL The three 
concluding verses have been recovered since the first edition of this 
work ; and I am informed by the reciter, that it was usual to separate 
from the rest that part of the ballad which follows the death of the 
lovers, as belonging to another story. For this, however, there 
seems no necessi^, as other authorities give the whole as a complete 

A second version was published by Mr. Jamieson, Popular 
Ballads, &&, vol. i, p. 80, ''which, though of inferior beauty, is not 
the less valuable, as illustrating the transmutations to which tradi- 
tionary song is inevitably subjected." 

"Nothing," says Jamieson, ''could have been better imagined 
than the circumstance in Mr. Scott's copy, of killing Clerk Saunders 
while his mistress was asleep (stanza 13) ; nor can anything be more 
natural or pathetic than the two stanzas that follow. They might 
have charmed a whole volume of bad poetry against the ravages of 
time ; in Mr. Scott's volumes they snine but like pearls among 

Jamieson's version was, as he states, mainly "transmitted by 
Mrs. Arrott, of Aberbrothick." Stanzas 1 and 2 are thence taken, 
"because," as stated by Motherwell, "they supply information as 
to the rank in society respectively held by these ill-fated lovers; 
and by hinting at the scholastic acquirements of Clerk Saunders, 
they prepare us for the casuistry by which he seeks to reconcile 
May Marffaret's conscience to a most Jesuitical oath." For verses 
extracted from Jamieson's version, see following ballad. 

A third version of Part I. was published by Kinloch—AndetU 
Scottish Ballads, p. 233— and is there styled "the North Country 
version of this popular andpathetic ballad." It is followed by an 
imperfect copy of " Sweet William and May Man;aret," which Mr. 
Kinloch conionnds with the concluding portion of Scott's version of 
this present ballad. 

A fourth version, named " Clerk Sandy," was published by Buchan, 
Ancient Ballads and Songs, &c., voL i., p. 160. 

Scott's version is greatly superior to any of the others, and is here 
generally followed ; out stanzas 10, 12, 17, and 18, of the present 

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collated version, are either whoUv or partly derived from Rioloch's ; 
and stanzas 21, 22, 23, from Bucnan's versions, above referred to. 

Part L resembles the preceding ballad, and has its connterpart 
in the Swedish ballad, **I>en Giymma Brodem," Svenska jfolk- 
Viaor, No. 86 (translated in Literature and Romance of North 
Europe^ p. 619) ; and in the Spanish ballad, *' De la Blanca Mifia»" 
in the Romancero de Amber es. 

Part IL resembles the ballad which follows, and '* Aage og £lse," 
Orundtvig^ No. 90 (translated by Bobert Buchanan, in Ballad 
Stories of the Affections, from the Scandinavian, p. 112). 

Variations to stanzas 34 and 35, from the following ballad— 
** Sweet William's Ghost "—are noted under those stanzas, p. 48. 


1 Clerk Saunders was an carl's son, 

He lived upon the salt sea strand ; 
May Margaret was a king's daughter. 
She lived away in upper land. 

2 Clerk Saunders was an earl's son, 

He was weel leam'd at the scheel ; 

May Margaret was a kind's daughter ; — 

They baith did lo'e each ither weel. 

3 Clerk Saunders and May Margaret 

Walk'd fondly o'er yon garden green ; 
And sad and heavy was the love 
That fell the Clerk and May between. 

4 "A bed, a bed," Clerk Saunders said. 

" A bed, fair May, for you and me I " 
" Fye na, fye na," said May Margaret, 
" Till ance that we twa married be. 

5 " For in may come my seven brothers, 

With torches burning red and bright ; 
They'll say — * Wo ha'e but ae sister, 
And, behold, she *8 sleeping with a kniglit I ' " 

G " Then take the brand frae out my hand, 
And with it slowly lift the pin ; 
And you may swear, and safe your aith. 
Ye never let Clerk Saunders in. 

7 " And take a napkin in your hand, 
And tie up baith your bonnie een ; 
And you may swear, and safe your aitli. 
Ye saw me na since late yestreen," 

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8 It was about the midnight hour. 

When soundly they asleep were laid, 
That in and came her seven brothers, 
With torches burning bright and red. 

9 When in and came her seven brothers, 

With torches buminfl^ red and bright, 
They said — " We ha'e but ae sister, 
And behold her sleeping with a knight ! *' 

10 Oh, out it speaks the first of them, 

" We will awa and let them be ; " 

Then out it speaks the second of them, 

" His father has nae mair but he." 

11 And out and spake the third of them, 

" I wot that they are lovers dear ; " 
And out and spake the fourth of them, 
"They ha'e been in love this mony a year." 

12 Then out it speaks the fifth of them, 

" It were a sin to do them ill ; " 
Then out it spake the sixth of them, 
" 'Twere shame a sleeping man to kill." 

13 Then up and gat the seventh of them, 

And never a word spake he ; 
But he has striped his oright brown brand 
Out through Clerk Saunders* fair bodye. 

14 Clerk Saunders he started, and Margaret she turned 

Into his arms, as asleep she lay ; 
And sad and silent was the night 
That was atween these lovers twae. 

15 And she lay still and sleeped sound, 

Until the day began to daw ; 
Then kindly to him she did say, 
" It is time, true love, you were awa.** 

16 But he lay still, as sleeping sound. 

Albeit the sun began to sheen ; 
She looked atween her and the wall. 
And dull and drumlie were his een. 

17 Mfl^ Margaret tumM the blankets down, 

The sheet she turn'd it to the wall; 
And when she saw his bluidy wound, 
Her tears they bitterly did fall. 

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18 " Oh, wae be to ye, my fause brothers, 

Ay, and an ill death may ye dee, 
Ye have slain Clerk Saunders, my true love. 
That loved and would ha'e wedded me." 

19 Then in and came her father dear; 

Said — " Margaret, let your mourning be; 
ril carry the dead corpse to the clay, 
And then come back and comfort thee." 

20 " Comfort ye weel your seven sons. 

For comforted will I never be ; 
I ween 'twas neither knave nor lown 
Was in the bowV last night with me." 

21 " Oh, hold your tongue, my daughter dear. 

Oh, hush, and let your mourning be; 
m wed you to a higher match 
Than e'er his father's son could be," 

22 " Wed well, wed well your seven sons, 

I wish ill wedded they may be; 
For they have kill'd my ain true love, 
Wha loved and would ha'e wedded me. 

23 " Wed well, wed well your seven sons, 

But ill deaths may the dastards dee; 
For they have slain my ain true love, 
And wedded shall I never be." 

Part II. 

24 The clinking bell gaed through the town. 

The corpse was laid in kindred clay ; 
And the gnost at Margaret's window stood 
An hour before the dawn of day. 

25 " Oh, if ye sleep, then wake, Margaret, 

Or if ye wake, then list to me ; 
Give me my faith and troth af ain, 
I wot, true love, I gave to tnee." 

2G " Your faith and troth ye shall never get, 
Nor our true love shall never twin, 
Until ye come within my bow'r, 
And kiss me ance mair cheek and chin." 

27 " My mouth it is fuU cold, Margaret, 

Its smell is now both rank and Strang; 
And if I kiss thy comely mouth, 
Thy days of life will not be lang. 

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28 " Oh, cocks are crowing a merry midnight ; 

I wot, the wild-fowls are boding day ; 
Give me my faith and troth again, 
And let me fare upon my way. 

29 " Oh, cocks are crowing a merry midnight ; 

I wot, the wild -fowl 8 are boding day ; 
The psaJms of heaven will soon be sung. 
And I ere now will be missed away." 

80 Then she has ta'en a crystal wand, 
She has stroken her troth thereon, 
And given it oat at the shot window, 
With mony a sigh and heavy groan. 

31 " I thank ye, Marg'ret, I thank ye, Marg'ret, 

And ave I thank ye heartilie ; 
If ever the dead come for the quick. 
Be sure, MargVet, Til come for thee." 

32 She waited not for gown nor hose, 

Nor yet for shoon, to put them on ; 
But up she got and follow'd him, 
And to the kirkyard she has gone. 

33 She climb'd the wall and follow'd him 

Into the kirkyard all alone ; 
Then stood beside his new-made grave, 
And thus she made her heavy moan : 

34 " Is there ony room at your head, Saunders ? 

Is there ony room at vour feet ? 
Or ony room at your side, Saunders, 
Where fain, fain I would sleep ? " * 

35 " There is nae room at my head, MargVet, 

And there is nae room at my feet ; 
My bed it is full lowly now : 
Amang the hungry worms I sleep, f 

36 " Cauld mould it is my covering now, 

And cauld mould my winding sheet : 
The dew it falls nae sooner down. 
Than my resting-place is weet. 

• " Wherein that I may cre^p." 

♦ " There 's nae room at my Bide, Marg'ret, 

My coffin's mode so meet." 

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37 " But plait a wand of bonnie birk, 

And lay the wand upon my breast ; 
And shed a tear upon my grave, 
And wish ye for my saul gude rest. 

88 " And fair Marg'ret, and rare Marg'ret, 
And fair Margaret of veritie, 
If ever ye love another man, 
Never love him as ye did me." 

39 Then up and crew the milk-white cock, 
And up and loudly crew the gray ; 
Her lover vanish'd in the air, 
And she gaed sadly weeping away. 


The following verses are taken from Jamieson's version of " Clerk 
Saunders," into which they appear to have been introduced errone- 
ously by some reciter, as similar verses occur apart in Danish {Danske, 
v., No. 204, and Arwidsaotif I., 358). They also resemble the 
Scotish son^, " Hame cam' our ^deman at e'en," first printed by 
Herd (vol. ii., p. 74), and one of the same description in tne Danish 
{Kcempe Viser^ d. 709), translated by Jamieson, in Northern Anti- 
quUies, p. 424, where it appears under the heading given above. The 
two last lines of stanzas 2 and 5 are here added to fill xlj> the hiatus 
of the original ; and the first word of stanzas 3 and 6 is in conse- 
quence altered from ** But " to "Then." The second lines of stanzas 
2 and 5 are somewhat nonsensicaL 

1 " On, tell UB, tell us, May Margaret, 

And dinna to us lein,* 
Oh, wha is aught yon noble steed, 
That stands your stable in?" 

2 " The steed is mine, and it may be thine. 

To ride when ye ride on hie ; 
But I am sick, and very, very sick, 
And as sick as I can be. 

3 " Then awa, awa, my bauld brethren, 

Awa and mak' nae din; 
For I am as sick a lady the niclit. 
As e'er lay a bow'r within." 

• "Loin : ** to conceal. The word need by Jamieson is " len,** which he thus explains} 
w^The term Men' here meanB to tiop or hesitate^ and ie used in the same sense 
bv Browne in his BrUannia'a PcukraU. It seems to be the same with tbe ol^ 
^.n^lish and Scottish * blin,' to cease or stop.** 

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^' Oh, tell OS, tell us, May Margaret, 

And dinna to us lein, 
Oh, wha is aught yon noble hawk 

That stands your kitchen in?" 

" The hawk is mine, and it may be thino, 
To hawk when ye hawk in hie ; 

But I am sick, and very, very sick, 
And as sick as I can bo. 

" Then awa, awa, my bauld brethren, 

Awa and mak' nae din; 
Tm ane of the sickest ladies this niclit, 

That e'er lay boVr within.** 

" Oh, tell us, tell us, May Margaret, 

And dinna to us lein, 
Oh, wha is that. May Margaret, 

You and the wall between ? " 

" Oh, it is my bow*r-maiden," she says, 

" As sick as sick can be ; 
Oh, it is my bow'r-maiden," she says, 

" And she 's thrice as sick as me." 

" We ha'e been east, and we've been west, 

And low beneath the moon; 
But all the bow'r-women e'er we saw 

Hadna goud buckles in their shoon.'' 


First printed by Ramaay in the Tea Table MitceUany, Mother- 
well foniished a second version, under the title of " William and 
Marjorie," in the Minstrelsy, p. 186 ; and Kinloch a third, under the 
title of ''Sweet William and May Margaret," in AneierU Scottish 
Ballads, p. 241. 

The present copy is collated from all three, but omits two stanzas, 
corresponding to stanzas 34 and 35 of '* Clerk Saunders " (p. 48), to 
which tiiey appear properly to belong. These stanzas are given by 
Bamsay, out are omitted by both Motherwell and Kinloch. 

Bamsay's version begins with lines 3 and 4; and the stanza is com- 
pleted with the following lines : — 

" And aye he tirled at the pSo, 
But answer made she nane," 

which, followed as they are by questions almost identical with those 
propounded in stanza 2~here printed from Kinloch's version— is 
manifestly inconsistent. 

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1 As Lady MargVet sat in her bowV, 

In her bowV all alone, 
There came a ghost to her bow'r door, 
With many a grievous groan. 

2 " Oh, is it my father ? oh, is it my mother ? 

Or is it my brother John ? 
Or is it sweet William, my ain true love, 
To Scotland new come home ? " 

3 " It is not your father, it is not your mother, 

It is not your brother John ; 
But it is sweet William, your ain true love. 
To Scotland new come home.*' 

4 ^' Ha'e ye brought me any fine things, 

Any new thing for to wear? 
Or ha*e ye brought a braid of lace 
To snood up my gowden hair? " 

5 " Fve brought ye nae fine things at all. 

Nor any new thing to wear, 
Nor ha'e I brought ye a braid of lace 
To snood up your gowden hair. 

6 " But sweet Marg'ret! dear Marg'rct ! 

I pray thee, speak to me; 
Give me my faith and troth, Marg'ret, 
As I gave it to thee." 

7 " Thy faith and troth thou's never get. 

Nor will I with thee twin. 
Till that thou come within my bowV, 
And kiss me cheek and chin." 

8 " My lips thev are sae bitter," he says, 

"My breath it is sae Strang; 
If you get ae kiss of my clay-cauld lips, 
I our days will not be lang. 

9 ^'0 sweet Marg'ret ! O dear MargVet! 

Marg'ret of veritie. 
Give me my faith and troth again, 
As I gave them to thee." 

10 " Thy faith and troth thou's never get I 
Fast to them will I cling, 
Till you take me to yonder kirk, 
And wed me with a ring." 

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11 "Do you not see my cheeks, MargVct, 

Sae sunken and sae wan? 
Do you not see, my dear MargVot, 
I am nae earthly man ? 

12 " My body lies in yon kirkyard, 

Close by the rolling sea; 
And it is but my ghost, MargVet, 
That 'b speakmg now to thoe. 

13 " Then sweet MargVetl dear Marg'ret ! 

I pray thee, for charitie, 
To give me back my faith and troth, 
As I gave them to thee." 

14 " Your faith and troth ye shall not get, 

Nor will I twin with thee, 
Till ye tell me of heaven's joys, 
Or hell's pains, how they be." 

15 " The joys of heaven I wot not of, 

The pains of hell I dree; 
But I hear the cocks begin to craw, 
Sae I must hence frae thee. 

16 " The cocks are crawing, dear Marg'ret, 

The cocks are crawing again ; 
The dead must now part frae the quick, 
And sae I must be gane." 

17 No more the ghost to Marg'ret said, 

But with a grievous groan 
Evanished in a cloud oimist, 
And left her all alone. 

18 Now she has kilted her robes of green 

A piece below her knee, 
And all the live-lang winter night 
The dead corp foUow'd she. 

19 She follow'd high, she follow'd low, 

To yonder kirkyard lone. 
And there the deep grave open'd up, 
And William he sank down. 

20 " Oh, what three things are these, William, 

That stand here at your head ? " 
" Oh, it 's three maidens, sweet Marg'ret, 
I promised pnce to wed," 

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22 " Oh, what three things aro these, William, 

That stand close at your side?" 
" Oh, it is three babies, MargVet, 
That these three maidens had." 

23 " Oh, what three things are these, William, 

That lye close at your feet?" 
**0h, it is three hell-hounds, Marg'rct, 
Waiting my saul to keep." 

24 Then she 's ta'en up her white, white hand, 

And struck him on the breast, 
" Have there again your faith and troth, 
And I wish your saul good rest." 


Abridged, and slightly emendated, from Bnchan's Ancient Ballads^ 
&C., voL L, p. 281. 

Mr. Buchan (note, p. 319) describes the two clerks as "sons of 
the Laird of Oxenford," in the county of Mid-Lothian; the place, 
" Bilkbury," as ** a famous town, at that time celebrated for its 
seminaries of leamiog;" and the period, to *'have been in the time 
of the feudal law." 

Mr. Chambers prints the ballad under the title of ** The Clerk's Twa 
Sons o^Owsenford— Part First," Scottish Ballads^ p. 345, and states 
it to be " chiefly taken from the recitation of the editor's grand- 
mother (who learned it, when a girl, nearly seventy years aco 
[about 1760], from Miss Anne Gray, resident at Neidpath Castle, 
Peebleshire) ; some additional stanzas, and a few various readings, 
beioff adopted from a less perfect, and far less poetical copy, published 
in Mr. Buchan's AnderU and Modern BaUads,^* The reader may, 
however, be surprised to learn that the ballad, as given by Mr. 
Chambers, is almost identical with the stanzas here given from 
Mr. Buchan^s ballad ; but the scene of the tragedy is transferred by 
him from "BiUsbury" to " Pariah,*' or, as he notes it, "Paris,"— 
which latter is nut, however, within a day's journey or sail of Oxen- 
ford, in Mid-Lothian. Oxenford ^ve the tiUe of Viscount~now 
dormant— to one of the Macgill faimly, in the reign of Charles U. It 
is now a seat a£ the Earl of 8tair. 

Mr. Chambers's '* Second Part" contains two stanzas slightly 
altered from Mr. Buchan's ballad; the others, with the exception of 
two or three additional stanzas, being tdmost identical with ''The 
Wife of Usher's WeU," first published In Scott's Minstrelsy. 

The ballads thus united were regarded by Professor Aytoun— 
BaUads of Scotland, vol. i., p. 116— as quite distinct; and even 
Mr. Chambers virtually admits it, when he refers to "the ^at 


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superiority of what foUowa over what goes hrfore^^ — ic, of "Part 
Second" over " Part First;" and to *^ the latter portion as in a great 
measure independent of tite other J^ The extracts are quoted in italics 
as given bv Professor Child, English and Scottish Ballads^ yoL ii., 
p. 63; the last-named editor adding his opinion, ** that the two parts 
originally had no connection, [but] were arbitrarily united, to suit the 
purposes of some unscrupulous rhapsodist. " He also mentions that 
" there is to a certain extent a resemblance between this ballad and 
the German baUad, 'Das Schloss in Oesterrich,' found in most of 
the German collections, and in Swedish and Danish." 

1 I WILL sing to you a waeful sang, 

Will grieve your heart full sair, 
How tho twa bonnie clerks of Oxenford 
Went afif to learn their lear. 

2 Their father loved them very wcol, 

Their mother meikle mair, 
And they sent them on to Billsbury 
To learn deeper lear. 

3 They hadna been in Billsbury 

A twelvemonth and a day, 
Till the mayor's twa daughters of Billsbury 
On them their loves did lay. 

4 And aye as the twa clerks sat and wrote, 

The ladies sew^d and sang; 
There was mair mirth in that chamber 
Than in all FerroVs land. , 

5 But word bas gane to the haughty mayor, 

As o^er his lands he rade, 
That the twa bonnie clerks of Oxenford 
His daughters had betrayed. 

6 " Oh, have they bctray'd my daughters dear, 

The heirs of all my land? 
Then the morn, ere I eat or drink, 
I'll hang them with my hand." 

7 Then he has ta'en the twa bonnie clerks, 

Bound them frae tap to tae, 
Till the reddest bluid within their veins 
Out o'er their nails did gae. 

8 Then word has gane to Oxenford, 

Frae the clerks in prison Strang, 

That ere the morn at twelve o'clock, 

The mayor he would them hang. 

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9 Then up spake Lady Oxenford, 
While tears fell fast and free — 
" husband, take good store of gold, 
And let them borrowed be. 

10 " husband, take good store of gold, 

And bring them back with thee; 
But if you get not h^de Henry, 
Bring Gilbert hame to me." 

11 Out then spake auld Oxenford^ 

A waefui man was he — 
" Your strange wish it does me surprise, 
They are baith alike to me." 

12 Oh, sweetly sang the nightingale, 

As she sat on the wand; 
But sair, sair mourn'd Oxenford, 
As he gaed to the strand. 

13 When he came to the prison Strang, 

He rade it round about, 
And at a little shot-window 
His sons were looking out. 

14 " Oh, lye ye there, my sons," he said, 

" For oxen or for kye? 
Or for a cast of dear-bought love, 
^ Do ye in prison lye ? " 

15 " We lye not here, father," they said, 

"For oxen or for kye; 
But for a cast of dear-bought love. 
We are condemned to die." 

16 " Oh, borrow us, borrow us, father, 

For tiie love we bear to thee ! " 
" Ob, never fear, my bonnie sons, 
Weel borrowed ye shall be." 

17 Then he has gane to the haughty mayor, 

And hail*d him courteouslie — 
" Good dav, good day, good Billsbury, 
God make you safe and free ! 

18 " Good day, good day, ffood Billsbury, 

A boon I crave frae thee." 

Come, sit ye down, brave Oxenford, 

What is your will with me? " 

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10 " Will ye gi'e me my sons again, 
For gold or yet for fee? 
Will ye gi'e me my sons again 
For 'a sake that died on tree? " 

20 " I winna gi'e ye your sons again, 

For gold nor yet for fee; 
But if ye stay a little while, 
Ye'U see them baith hang'd hie." 

21 In then came the mayor's daughters, 

With kirtle, coat alone; 
Their eyes they sparkled like the gold. 
As they tripp'd o*er the stone. 

22 " Oh, will ve gi'e us our loves, father. 

For gold or yet for fee? 
Or will ye take our own sweet lives. 
And let our true loves be ? " 

23 He 'b ta'en a whip into his hand, 

And lash'd them wondrous sair ; 
" Gae to your bowVs, ye vile lemans, 
Ye'll never see them main" 

24 Then out and spake auld Oxenford, 

A waeful man was he — 
" Gang to your bow'rs, ye lily flowers, 
For, oh, this maunna be." " 

26 Then out and spake him hynde Hcurie— 
" Gome here, Janet, to me ; 
Will ye gi'e me my faith and troth, 
And love, as I gave tlice? " 

26 " Oh, ye shall ha'e your faith and troth. 

With God's blessing and mine ! " 
And twenty times she kiss'd his mouth, 
Her father looking on. 

27 Then out and spake him gay Gilbert — 

"Come here, MargVet, to me; 
Will ye gi'e me my faith and troth, 
And love, as I gave thee?" 

28 " Yes, ye shall set your faith and troth, 

With God's blessmg and mine !" 
And twenty times she kiss'd his mouth, 
Her father looking on. 

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20 " Ye'll take aff your twa black hats, 
And lay them on that stone, 
That nane may ken that ye are clerks 
When ye are putten down." 

80 The bonnie clerks they died that mom, 

Their loves died lang ere noon ; 
And baith their fathers and mothers died 
For sorrow very soon. 

81 Six of the souls went up to heaven, 

(I wish sae may we a' I) 
But the cruel mayor went down to hell| 
For judging unjust law. 


From Scott's MintireUy, vol. iii., p. 258. 

Stanza 4 is adapted from Bncban's ballad, " The Clerks of Oxen- 
ford ;" and stanza 5 from Chambers's balhid, '* The Clerk's Twa Sons 
o* Owaenford— Part Second." 

The explanatory notes [marked S.] are from the pen of Sir Walter 

1 There lived a wife at Usher's Well, 

And a wealthy wife was she ; 
She had three stout and stalwart sons, 
And sent them o'er the sea. 

2 They hadna been a week from her, 

A week but barely ane, 
When word came back to the carline wife, 
That her three sons were gane. 

8 Tlioy hadna been a week from her, 
A week but barely three, 
When word came to the carline wife, 
That her sons she'd never see : 

4 Tliat they were learning a deeper lear, 
And at a higher schule; 
But them she wou'd never see again, 
On the holy days of Yule. 

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" I wish the wind may never cease,* 

Nor fishes t in the nood, 
Till my three sons come hame to roe 

In earthly flesh and blood." 

It fell about the Martinmas, 
When nights are lang and mirk, 

The carline wife's three sons came hame, 
And their hats were of the birk. 

It neither ^ew in syke nor ditch, 

Nor yet m ony sheugh ; 
But at the gates of Paradise 

That birk grew fair eneuch.j( 

8 " Blow up the fire, my maidens, and 
Bring water from the well ; 
For all my house shall feast this night, 
Since my three sons are well. 

U " Oh, eat and drink, my merry men all. 
The better shall ye fare; 
For my three sons they are come hame 
To me for evermair." 

10 And she has made to them a bed, 
She 's made it large and wide; 
And she 's ta'en her mantle her about, 
Sat down at the bedside. 

11 Up then crew the red, red cock, 

And up and crew the gray;^ 
The eldest to the youngest said — 
" 'Tis time we were away." 

12 The cock he hadna craw'd but ance. 

At dawning of the day. 
When the eldest to the youngest said — 
" Brother, we must away." 

* The soDse of this Torae is obscure, owing probably to corruption by reciters. [S.] 

t Subsequent editors haTe changed "fishes" to "fashes," ** freshes," and 

1 The notion, that the souls of the blessed wear garlands, seams to be of Jewish 
origin. At least, in the ''Maase-book," there is a Rabbinical tradition to that 
effook— See JtwiA IVaA'lt^iw, oUnidgedfirQm Buxior/, London, 1783, toL IL, p. 19. [B 

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13 " The cock doth craw, the day doth daw, 

The channerin'* worm doth chide; 
If we be miss'd out of our place, 
A Bair pain we maun bide.f 

14 " Then fare ye weel, my mother dear! 

Fareweel to bam and byre I 
And fare ye weel, the bonnie lass 
That kindles my mother's fire !" 


From Btichaii*8 Ancient Ballads and Songs^ vol i., p. 41; with 
the excei)tion of verse 2, which is inserted from a kindred portion of 
"The Brave Earl Brand and the King of England's Daughter," 
p. 32. 

Stanza 1 describes *'an unco," or wonderful "land," bearing some 
resemblance to the "better land," or "oe."— •«.«., island — of " JRibolt 
and Guldborg," as described in stanzas 3 to 9 inclusive, of the version 
translated by Jamieson. 

Stanzas 3 to 8 inclusive, represent ten stanzas of the original, here 
abridged to avoid repetition and some objectionable details. These 
stanzas bear some resemblance to, but are more ample in narrative 
than, the portion of " The Brave Earl Brand," &c., above referred to. 

The succeeding seven stanzas are omitted entirely, because they 
merely represent— and that in a very corrupt form— several stanzas 
of " Herr Medelvold,'* and similar Danish and Swedish ballads. 

In the Scandinavian ballad, the hero takes his lady's gold em- 
broidered shoe, and hastes to a distant rill in search of water to 
2uench her thirst ; but when be reaches it, two nightingales sing to 
im of the death of the lady and her two new-bom mfants. He 
returns ; finds them dead ; buries them ; fixes his sword against a 
tree or stone, and drives the blade through his heart. Two versions 
of this ballad— "Sir Wal and Lisa Lyle," and "Fair Midel and 
Kirsten Lyle " — as translated by Jamieson, appear in IllmtratUms of 
Northern Antiquities, p. 373 and p. 377. 

In the omitted stanzas of Buchan's ballad, the hero is anything 
but gallant. He is asked by the lady to leave her alone — to take 
his "bow," and go to "hunt the deer and roe," but not to touch 
" the white hynde." He obeys only too willingly, and quite forgets 
Ins lady until reminded by the passing of a "milk-white hynde," 
when he returns and finds her "lying dead," with her "young son at 

• "Chonnerin*:" fretting. [S.] 

f This will remind the German reodei of the eomlo adieu of a heavonly 

" Doch sieh ! man schliesst •'io himmels thtlr; 
Adicat dcr hlmmlische Portier ._, , 

IstBtrengundh&ltaufordnung.'*— /7/uma«er. [&] 

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her head.*' Stanzas somewhat analoeous to those described occur 
also in two ballads which immediately follow — viz., "The Earl of 
Douglas and Lady Oliphant," and "Sweet Willie and Fair Janet." 

Part n. narrates the sequel, of which stanza 9 is common ballad 
property; while stanzas 10 to 14 are almost identical with four stanzas 
of a ballad in Motherwell's Minstrelsy (p. 189), under the title of 
"The Broom blooms Bonnie and sa3rs it is Fair," which four stanzas 
follow the present ballad, and are all of MotherwelPs ballad that are 
considered to be fit for publication in this collection. 

The four or five concluding stanzas of "Leesome Brand" appear 
to be the only original stanzas it contains. 

Part I. 

1 My boy was scarcely ten years auld, 

When he went to an unco land, 
Where wind never blew, nor cocks ever crew, 
OhonI for my son, Leesome Brand. 

2 Oh, did you ever hear of brave Leesome Brand? 

Hey lillie, ho lillie lallie; 
He courted the kiug*s daughter of fair England, 
In the brave nights so early. 

3 Awa to that king's court he went, 

It was to serve for meat and fee; 
Gude red gowd it was his hire, 

And lang in that king's court stay'd he. 

4 He hadna been in that king's court. 

But only twellmonths twa or three, 
Till by the glancing of his e'e, 
He gain'd the love of a gay ladye. 

5 This ladye was scarce fifteen years auld. 
When on her love she was right baukl; 
To Leesome Brand she then did say — 

" In this place I can nae mair stay. 

C " Ye do you to my father's stable, 

Where steeds do stand both wight and able; 
Get ane for you, another for me, 
And let us ride out o'er the lea. 

" Ye do you to my mother's coflFer, 
And out of it ye'll take my tocher; 
Therein are sixty thousand pounds. 
Wbich all to me by right belongs.'' 

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8 He 's done him to her father's stable, 

And waled twa steeds baith wight and able ; 
He 's done him to her mother's coffer, 
And there he 'b ta'en his lover's tocher. 

Part IT. 

9 His mother lay o'er her castle wall, 

And she beheld baith dale and down; 
And she beheld young Leesome Brand, 
As he came riding to the town. 

10 " Get minstrels for to play," she said, 

" And dancers to dance in my room ; 

For here comes my son, Leesome Brand, 

And he comes merrilie to the town." 

11 " Seek nae minstrels to play, mother. 

Nor dancers to dance m your room; 
But tho' your son comes, Leesome Brand, 
Yet he comes sorry to the town. 

12 " Oh, I ha'e lost my gowden knife, 

I rather had lost my ain sweet life ; 
And I ha'e lost a better thing. 
The gilded sheath that it was in." 

13 ^^ Are there nae gowdsmiths here in Fife 

Can make to vou another knife ? 
Are there nae sheath-makers in the land 
Can make a sheath to Leesome Brand ? " 

14c " There are nae gowdsmiths here in Fife 
Can make me sic a gowden knife; 
Nor nae sheath-makers in the land 
Can make me sic a sheath again. 

15 "There ne'er was man in Scotland born, 
Ordain'd to be so much forlorn ; 
I've lost my ladye I lov'd sae dear. 
Likewise the son she did me bear." 

IC " Put in your hdtid at my bed head, 
There ye'll find a gude gray horn; 
In it three draps of Saint Paul's ain bluid, 
That ha'e been there since he was bom. 

17 *• Drap twa of them on yonr ladye, 
And ane upon your new-born son; 
Then as lively they baith will be 

As the first night ye brought them hame." 

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18 He put his hand at her bed head, 

And there he found a gude gray horn, 

With three draps of Saint Paul's ain bluid, 

That had been there since he was born. 

19 Then he drapp'd twa on his ladyo, 

And ano of them on his young son ; 
And now they do as lively be, 
As the first day he brought them hanie. 


From Motherwell's Minatrelsy, p. 191. See introduction to pre- 
ceding ballad, p. 69. 

The complete ballad is one of a class which, following the judicious 
example of Professor Child, are excluded from this collection, on 
account of the revolting nature of their theme. The other ballads 
of the class referred to are — 

**Lizie Wan," Herd, vol. i., p. 91. 

"The Bonnie Hynd," Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iii., p. 307. 

" Castle Ha's Daughter," Buchan, vol. i., p. 241. 

" Bold Burnett's Daughter " (which is merely referred to by 
Buchan in his note, vol. i., p. 315), and "Lady Jean," a stanza of 
which is given by Motherwell, Appendix, p. xxi., note to music, 

1 When Willie came hame to his father's court hall — 

The broom blooms bonnie and says it is fair ; 
There was music and minstrels and dancing 'mang them all — 
But he'll never gang down to the broom onie mair. 

2 " Willie I Willie I what makes thee in pain ? "— 

The broom blooms bonnie and says it is fair ; 
" I have lost a sheath and knife that I'll never see again — 
For we'll never gang down to the broom onie mair." 

8 " There are shipB of your father's sailing on the sea " — 
The broom blooms bonnie and says it is fair ; 
" That will bring as good a sheath and a knife unto thee — 
And we'll never gang down to the broom onie mair." 

4 " There are ships of my father's sailing on the sea " — 
The broom blooms bonnie and says it is fair ; 
" But sic a sheath and knife they can never bring to me — 
Now we'll never gang down to the broom onie mair." 

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Abridged from Bnchan^B Ancient BaUads, vol. ii., p. 18L 

It is probable that the name of the heroine, in place of ** Oliphanfc '* 
— which is a family snmame, and not a lady^s Christian name— should 
read " Eleanor," and that the ballad may relate to the second marriage 
of "William de Douglas, denominated the Hardy;** of the circum- 
stances attending which marriage, we have the following account : — 

" His second wife appears to have been Eleanor, relect of William 
Ferrers of Groby, in the county of Leicester, a younger son of William 
Earl Derby. Oliis William Ferrers died 1287-8, leaving Eleanor, iiis 
second wife, surviving ; and she going to Scotland to obtain her dowry 
of such lands as by her husband oelonged to her, being at Travement 
[Tranent], the manor-house of Helen [or Allan] la Zuche [or Suche], 
in that realm, William de Douglas, in a hostile manner, took her 
thence against her will, and carried her to another place ; of which 
complaint beinz made to King Edward I., he sent his precept to tbo 
Sheriff of Nortnumberland, to sieze upon all the goods and chattels 
of the said William de Douglas, which then were in his bailiwick. 
But in 1290-1, in consideration of £100 fine, the king granted to 
William de Douglas the benefit of her marriage." And in a note wo 
are further '* informed, that in a MS. collection of English records, the 
second wife of William Ferrers, who died 16th Edward I., is stated 
to have been Gomitissa de Fife, in Scotia, vidua Colbani et mater 
Maoduffi, Comitum de Fife." — Douglas's Peerage of Scotland, second 
edition, edited by J. P. Wood, voL i., p. 420. 

Tlie baUad. resembles in some respects both ** Leesome Brand '' 
and the ballad which follows this. 

1 Willie was an earl's ae son, 

An earl's ae son was he ; 
And he is on to fair England, 
To serve for meat and fee. 

2 Bat it was not for meat and feo 

That Willie hied him there ; 
Bat for his love to Oliphant, 
Of beauty bright and rare. 

3 Now, it fell ance upon a day, 

That Oliphant thought lang ; 
And she went on to good greenwood, 
As fast as she con'd gang. 

4 Willie he stood in his chamber door, 

In a love-musing mood, 
And spy'd fair Lady Oliphant, 
As she hied to the wood. 

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6 He took his bow and arrows keen, 
His sword baith braid and lang ; 
And he is on to good greenwood, 
As fast as he cou'd gang. 

6 And there ho found fair Oliphant, 

Asleep beneath a tree ; 
But up she started at his step, 
Ana thus in fear cry'd she : 

7 " Hold away from me, young man, 

Hold far away from me ; 
I fear you are some false voung knight, 
Beguiles young ladies n-ee." 

8 "I am not such a false young knight 

As you fear me to be ; 
I am young Willie of Douglas-dale, 
Ana dearly I love thee." 

9 " If you are Willie of Douglas-dale, 

Your love is dear to me, 
For oft I think, and in my sleep 
Full oft I dream of thee." 

10 But the cocks they crew, and the horns blew, 

And herds lowed on the hill ; 
And Willie he hied him back again, 
Unto his daily toil. 

11 Sae likewise did fair Oliphant, 

To her book and her seam ; 
But little she read, and little she sewed. 
For love was her day-dream. 

1 2 Then it fell ance upon a night, 

Young Willie he thought lang ; 
And he went on to Oliphant's bowV, 
As fast as he couM gang. 

13 " Oh, are you asleep, fair Oliphant? 

Oh, are you asleep?" cried he; 
" Oh, waken, waken, Oliphant, 
Oh, waken and speak to me." 

14 " Oh, much I do fear me, dear Willie, 

Oh, much I fear," said she ; 
** If my father or his knights do liear, 
By them you slain shall be." 

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15 " Oliphant, dear Oliphant, 

A king's daughter are ye ; 
But would you leave vour father's court, 
To live and die with me? " 

16 " Oh, I would leave my father's court, 

Let weal or woe betide ; 
For I could range the warld o'er, 
If you were by my side." 

17 She took a web of scarlet cloth, 

And tore it fine and small ; 
Then plaited it both long and strong, 
To let her down the wall. 

18 She lower'd herself in Willie's arms, 

Adown the castle wall ; 
And Willie was wight and well ablo 
To save her from a fall. 

19 But the cocks they crew, and the horns blew, 

And herds low'd on the hill, 
As Willie's lady followed him 
Tho' her tears trickl'd still. 

20 They lived together in good greenwood 

Some nine months and a day, 
When Willie to fair Oliphant 
Thus lovingly did say : 

21 " Oh, want ye ribbons to your hair. 

Or roses to your shoon? 
Or want ye chains about your neck? 
You'll get mair when they're done." 

22 " I want not ribbons to my hair, 

Nor roses to my shoon ; 
And there are mair chains about my neck ? 
Than ever I'll see done." 

23 '* Will ye gae to the cards or dice? 

Or to the table play? 
Or to a bed sae well down-spread, 
And sleep till it be day?" 

2i ** I've mair need of the rodens, Willie, 

That grow on yonder thorn; 

Likewise a drink of spring water, 

Out of your grass-green horn. 

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25 " IVe mair need of a fire, Willie, 
To heat my shivering frame; 
Likewise a glass of good red wine, 
Ere your young son come hamo." 

20 He got a bush of rodens till her, 
That grew on yonder thorn ; 
Likewise a drink of sprint water, 
Out of his grass-green horn. 

27 He carried the match in his pocket, 
That kindled to her the fire, 
Well set about with oaken spails, 
That learned o^er Lincolnshire. 

23 And he has brought to his lady 
A ^lass of good red wine ; 
And he has likewise brought to her 
A loaf of white bread fine. 

29 The milk that he milked frae the goats, 
He fed his young son on ; 
Thus he did tend and serve them baith, 
In greenwood all alone. 

50 Till it fell ance upon a day. 

Fair Oliphant did plaine: 
" Oh, if you have a place, Willie, 
I pray you have me hame." 

51 He took his young son in his arms. 

When Oliphant grew Strang; 
And they went on through good greenwood, 
As fast as they cou*d gang. 

32 Thev joumey'd on through good greenwood, 

They journey 'd northward on, 

Till they came to a shepherd May, 

Was feeding her flocks alone. 

33 The lady said — " My bonnie May, 

If you will come with me, 
And carry my young son in your arms, 
Rewarded you will be. 

Si " The gowns were shapen for my wear, 
They shall be sewed for thee, 
And you will get a braw Scotsman, 
Your husband for to be,*' 

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35 When they came on to Willie's yetts, 
Beyond the Solway sea, 
The news of their arrival spread 
Like wild fire o'er the lea. 

SQr Then many a stout and stalwart knight, 
And many a stately dame, 
The lord and lady of Douglas-dale 
With joy did welcome hame. 

37 And many a bold and warlike youth, 
And many a maiden fair. 
The lord and lady of Douglas-dale 
Right gaily welcomed there. 

88 The bonnie May they brought with them, 
She got a braw Scots man ; 
And the children that her lady bare. 
She nursed them every one. 

39 Earl Willie and fair Oliphant 
Lang happy lived, I ween, 
Ere in the kirk of sweet Saint Bride 
Their graves grew fresh and green. 


The works in which, and the titles under which, versions of this 
ballad have appeared, are— 

L Herd, vol. i, p. 162; under the title of "Willie and 

II. Finlay, vol. il, p. 61 ; under the title of "Sweet Willie," 
where it is said to be made up from different copies and 
fragments. It contains eleven stanzas, taken verbally 
from Herd's version, five slightly different, leaves out 
three, and adds ten. 

III. Sharpe's Ballad Booh, p. 1; under the title of "Fair 

Janet." " Is printed as it was sung by an old woman in 
Perthshire. The air is extremely biautifuL" — 0. K. S. 

IV. Buchan, vol. i., p. 97 ; under the title of " Sweet Willie and 

Fair Maisry." Mr. Buchan states that " Mr. Findlay," 
notwithstanding " all his painful industry, came far short 
of completing or perfecting the ballad." 

Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. 139, copied Sharpe's version, inserting 

[in brackets] three stanzas n-om Herd, here numbered 51, 63, and 56. 

The ballad, as here printed, is compiled from the four versions above 

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named, and contains 120 lines more than Finlay's, and eighty-eight 
lines more than Motherwell's extended version. 

Both this and the following ballad, ** Lady Maisry," are supposed 
to be derived from the Danish, and to owe their origin to the trade 
story of '*King Waldemar and his Sister;" which '* appears to do 
fonnded on facts which occurred during the reign and in tne family of 
the Danish king, sometime between 1157 and 1167." There are 
numerous Dani^ Swedish, Norse, Icelandic, Faroish, and German 
versions of the ballad. The journey on horseback and the dance are 
the incidents which are regarded as connecting *' Swoet Willie and 
Fair Janet" with the Scandinavian ballad, in which particulars it 
follows or is related to the Icelandic and Fartfish versions; while 
*'Lady Maisry," the ballad which follows this, more closely resembles 
the Danish and other versions above referred to. 

See Professor Child's English and Scottish BaUads, vol. ii., p. 78 
and p. 86. 

1 "Ye maun gang to your father, Janet, 

Yo maun gang to him sune ; 
Ye maun gang to your father, Janet, 
In case that his days aro dune ! " 

2 Janet 's awa to her father, 

As fast as she could hie ; 
" Oh, what 's your will with mo, fatlicr? 
Oh, what 's your will with me ? " 

3 " ^Ty will with you, fair Janet," he said, 

" It is both bed ond board ; 
Some say that ye lo'e sweet Willie, 
But ye maun wed a French lord." 

4 "A French lord maun I wed, father, 

A French lord maun I wed? 
Then, by my sooth," quo* fair Janet, 
" He 's ne'er enter my bed. 

6 " Iley, love Willie, and how, love Willie, 
And Willie my love shall be; 
They think to Binder our love, Willie, 
But ni love you till I dee." 

6 " Now, will you marry this French lord, 

And with him cross the sea? 
Or will you mourn for sweet Willio 
Tlie morn upon yon lea?" 

7 " Oh, I may marry this French lord, 

And bend me to your will ; 
But I'd rather it were my burial day, 
And my grave I went till.'* 

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8 Janet 's awa to her chamber, 
As fast as she could go ; 
Wha's the first ane that tapp'd there, 
But sweet Willie, her jo ! 

9* " Oh, we maun part this love, Willie, 
Tho* dear aboon all thin^ ; 
There 's a French lord coming o'er the sea 
To wed me with a ring. 

10 " There 's a French lord coming o'er the sea, 

To wed and take mc hame, 
And my father says, I maun him wed^ 
And with him cross the faem*" 

11 '^ If we maun part this love, Janet, 

It will cause me meikle woe ; 
If we maun part this love, Janet, 
Through life I'll mourniug go." 

12 " Now, Willie, if you love me wecl, 

As sae it seems to me. 
Gar build, gar build a bonnie ship, 
Gar build it speedilie I 

13 ^* And we will sail the sea sae green. 

Unto some far countrie ; 
Or sail unto some bonnie isle, 
Stands lanely midst the sea." 

14 But lang or ere the ship was built, 

Or decked or weel rigg'd out, 

Game sic a pain in Janet's back. 

That down she couldna lout. 

15 " Now, Willie, if ye love me weel, 

As sae it seems to me. 
Oh, haste and take me to my bowV, 
In yonder greenwood free. 

16 '^ Willie, mount me on a steed, 

A milk-white steed or gray ; 
And to my bow*r in yon greenwood 
Take me ere it be day. 

17 " Then gang ye to your sisters three, 

Meg, Marion, and Jean ; 
And bid them come to fair Janet, 
At her bow'r in yon green." 


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18 He mounted her upon a Bteed, 

Upon a steed of gray, 
And to her bowV in good greenwood 
Ta^en her ere it was day. 

19 He 's ta'on her in his arms twa^ 

And kis8*d her cheek and ohm. 
And laid her in her ain sweet bowV, 
But nae bow'r-maid was in. 

20 Then hied he to his sisters three, 

Meg, Marion, and Jean ; 
Said — " Haste, and gang to fair Janet, 
At her bowV in yon green. 

21 " Oh, haste, and gang to fair Janet, 

Dress and gang to her sune ; 
Oh, haste, and gang to fair Janet, 
I fear her days are dune." 

22 Thev drew to them their silken hose, 

They drew to them their shoon ; 
They drew to them their silk mantels. 
And quickly put them on : 

23 And they hied awa to fair Janet, 

By the ae light of the mune ; 
But yet for all the haste they made. 
They came ua there ower sune. 

24 For when they came to fair Janet's bowV, 

In the greenwood fair and free, 
They found fair Janet sitting there. 
With her young son on her knee. 

25 " Come in, come in now, sweet Willie, 

Take your young son frae me, 
And bear him to your mother's bow'r 
With speed and privacie. 

26 " Oh, I have bom this babe, Willie, 

With meikle toil and pain ; 
Take hame, take hame your babe, Willie, 
For nurse I dare be nane." 

27 He 's ta'en his ^oung son in his arms. 

And kiss'd him cheek and chin; 
And he is to his mother's bow'r 
As fast as he could rin. 

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28 " Oh, open, open, mother," he says, 
" Oh, open, and let me in ; 
The rain rains on my yellow hair, 
And the dew drops o'er my chin. 

20 *' Oh, open, open, mother," he says, 
" Oh, open the door to me j 
Oh, open, and take my yoang son in, 
And get him nurses three. 

80 She opened the door to Willie, her son. 
She opened and let him in ; 
And she took his habe up in her arms, 
And kissed him cheek and chin. 

31 " Gae back, gae back now, sweet "Willio, 

And to comfort your lady strive ; 

For where ye had but a single nurse, 

Your young son shall ha'e five." 

82 He hied awa frae his mother's bow'r. 

And to fair Janet^s he came: 
Then lifted her up in his arms twa. 
And safely carried her hame. 

83 He carried fair Janet safely hame, 

And laid her safely in bed ; 
Then stole awa frae her father's towers 
With saft and stealthy tread. 

8:IL Then in there came her father dear, 
Well belted with a brand; 
" It 's nae time for brides to lye in bed. 
When the bridegroom is at hand." 

85 " There *s a sair pain in my head, father, 

There 's a sair pain in my side; 
And ill, oh, ill am I, father, 
This day for to be a bride." 

86 " Oh, ve maun busk this bonnie bride, 

And put a gay mantle on; 
For she shall wed this auld French lord, 
Tho' she should die the morn." 

87 In came fair Janet's mother dear, 

And slie spake out with pride — 
" Oh, where are all our bridesmaidens? 
They're no busking the bride." 

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38 " Oh, baud your tongue, my mother dear, 

Your speaking let it be, 
For I'm eae fair and full of flesh, 
Little busking will serve me." 

39 Out then spake the bride^s maidens, 

And they spake out with pride — 
" Oh, where is all the fine deeding ? 
It *s we maun busk the bride." 

40 *' Deal hooly with my head, maidens, 

Deal hooly with my hair. 
For it was washen late yestreen, 
And it is wonder sair. 

41 " My maidens, easy with my back, 

And easy with my side; 
And set my saddle saft, Willie, 
I am a tender bride." 

42 Some put on the gay green robes. 

Ana some put on the brown ; 
But Janet put on the scarlet robes. 
To shine foremost through the town. 

43 And some they mounted the black steed, 

And some mounted the brown ; 
But Janet mounted the milk-white steed, 
To ride foremost through the town. 

44 ** Oh, wha will guide your horse, Janet? 

Oh, wha will guide him best ? " 
" Oh, wha but Willie, my true love 1 
I ken ho lo'es me best." 

45 And when they came to Marie*8 kirk. 

To tie the holy ban'. 
The colour fled fair Janet's cheeks, 
And they look'd deathly wan. 

4C When dinner it was past and done. 
And dancing to begin, — 
" Oh, we'll go take the bride's maidens," 
And we'll go fill the ring." 

47 Oh, ben then came the auld French lord, 
Says — " Bride, come dance with me 1 " 
" Awa, awa, ye auld French lord, 
Your face I downa* see." 

•"Downa" means, generolly, inaWity; but also, sometimes, as here, i 
inclinaticn^ or rtpugnana. 

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43 Oh, ben then came now sweet William, 
He came with ane advance ; 
" Oh, V\\ gae take the bride's maidens, 
And weUl gae take a dance." 

41> " IVe seen other days with you, Willie, 
And sae ha'e mony mae, 
Ye wou'd ha*e danced with me yoursell, " 
Let all my maidens gae." 

60 Oh, up then spake now sweet Willie, 

Saying — "Bride, will ye dance with me?" 
" Ay, by my sooth, and that I will, 
Tho' my back break in three I " 

51 And she 's ta'en Willie by the hand, 

The tear blinded her e'e : 
" Oh, I wouM dance with my true love, 
Tho* burst my heart in three ! " 

52 She hadna tum*d her through the dance, 

Through the dance but thrice, 
When she fell down at Willie's feet, 
And up did never rise I 

53 She 's ta'en her bracelet frae her arm, 

Her garter frae her knee, — 
" Gi'e that, gi'e that to my young son, 
He'll ne'er his mother see." 

64 Willie 's ta'en the key of his coffer. 
And gi'en it to his man, — 
" Gae hame and tell my mother dear, 
My horse he has me slain. 

55 " Bid her be kind to my young son, 
For they'll ne'er see me again; 
Bid her be kind to my young sou, 
For father he has nane. 

6G " Gar deal, gar deal the bread," he cried, 
" Gar deal, gar deal the wine ; 
This day has seen my true love's death, 
This night shall witness mine." 

67 The ane was buried in Marie's kirk, 
And the ither in Mary's quier j 
Out of the ane there grew a birk, 
And the ither a bonnie brier.* 

« See note, p. 93, 

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" This excellent old ballad is," says Motherwell, " very popular In 
many parts of Scotland." — MinatreUi/f p. 71. 

It first appeared in Jamieson's Popular BaUads, vol. i, p. 73, 
where it is '* given verbatim, as taken down from the recitation of 
Mrs. Arrott,'' T>p. 66 and 59. Portions of another version appeared 
in the Scofs Magaane^ Jnne, 1822. 

Motherwell's MinatreUy contains other two different versions— viz., 
"Lady Marjorie," p. 234, and « Bonnie Susie Cleland," p. 221. Which 
latter follows the present collated version. 

Bnchan famishes yet another, named "Yonng Prince James." — 
AnderU Ballada, &c., voL i, p. 103. 

Jamieson's version is the one here chiefly followed ; bnt a few 
stanzas and some emendations have been adopted from "Lady 
Marjorie" and ** Young Prince James.'' 

For the probable origin of the ballad, see introduction to the one 
preceding tnis. The present ballad preserves the relationship of the 

Ccipaf actors, sister and brother, and the death of the former at the 
Is of the latter; but the manner in which the sister suffers death 
differs, as in the Danish, Swedish, and German ballads she is said to 
be beaten to death with leathern whips. 

See Old Danish BaUads, translated from Qrimnuf Collection by an 
Amatetar^ p. 90. 8vo. London, 1856. 
Motherwell's version, " Lady Maijorie," opens thus — 

"Lady Marjorie was her mother's only daughter, 
Her father's only heir; 
And she is awa to Strawberry Castle, 
To get some unco l&ir." 

1 The young lords of the North Country 

Have all a- wooing gane, 
To win the love of Lady Maisry j 
But of them she wou'd ha'e nane. 

2 Oh, they ha'e sought her, Lady Maisry, 

With broaches and with rings ; 
And they ha'e courted her, Lady Maisry, 
With all kind of things. 

8 And thejr ha'e sought her, Lady Maisry, 
Frae fether and frae mither ; 
And they ha'e sought her. Lady Maisry, 
Frae sister and £ae brither. 

4 And they ha'e followed her. Lady Maisry, 
Through chamber and through ha*; 
But all that they could say to her^ 
Her answer still was ** Na.*' 

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5 " Oh, hand ^oar tongues, young men/' she said, 
" And think nae mair on me ; 
For I've gi'en my love to an English lord ; 
Sae think nae mair on me." 

C But word has to her father gane, 
And word unto her mother ; 
And word unto her sister gane, 
And word unto her brother. 

7 'Twas whisper'd here, 'twas whisper'd there — 

111 news aye travels soon— 
That Lady Maisry gaes with bairn 
Unto an English loon. 

8 When her brother heard word of this, 

An angry man was he : 
" A malison light on the tongue 
Sic tidings tells to me! 

9 "A malison light on the tongue, 

Tho' true the tale may be ; 
But if it be a lie you tell, 
It 's you shall be hang'd hie." 

10 He 's done him to his sister's bow'r, 

"With meikle dool and care ; 
And there he saw Lady Maisry 
Combing her yellow hair. 

11 " Oh, wha is aucht that bairn," he says, 

<' And brought this shame on thee ? 
And if ye winna own the truth, 
This moment ye shall dee." 

12 She 's tum'd her right and round about, 

And the comb fell frae her han' ; 
A trembling seized her fair bodie, 
And her rosy cheek grew wan. 

18 '* Oh, pardon me, my brother dear, 
And the truth I'll tell to thee ; 
My bairn it is to Lord William, 
And he is betroth'd to me." 

14 <' Oh, couldna ye gotten dukes oi loTtfs^ 
Intil your ain countrie, 
That ye drew up with an Engliuli diig, 
To bring this shame ou mo 1 

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15 " But ye maun gVe up your English lord 

"When your young babe is born; 
For if ye langer keep by him, 
Your life shall bo forlorn. 

16 " I'll cause my men build up a fire, 

And tie you to a stake ; 
And on the head of yon high tower 
I'll burn you for his sake." 

17 " I will gi'e up this English lord, 

Till my young babe is born ; 
But the never a day nor hour langer, 
Though my life should be forlorn." 

18 " Oh, where are all my merry young men 

Whom I gi*e meat and fee, 
To pull the bracken and the thorn, 
To bum this vile ladye?" 

19 ** Oh, where will I get a bonnie boy 

To help me in my need, 
To rin with haste to Lord William, 
And bid him come with speed ? " 

20 Oh, out it spake a bonnie boy, 

Stood by her brother's side ; 
" It 's I would rin your errand, lady. 
O'er all the world wide. 

21 " Oft ha'e I run your errands, lady, 

When blawin' baith wind and weet ; 
But now I'll rin your errand, lady, 
With saut tears on my cheek." 

22 Oh, when he^ came to broken brigs, 

Ho bent his bow and swam ; 
And when he came to grass growin', 
He slack'd Lis shoon and ran. 

23 And when he came to Lord William's yetts, 

He badena to chap or call ; 
But set his bent bow to his breast, 

And lightly lap the wall ; 
And, or tne porter was at the yett, 

The boy was in the hall. 

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21 " Oh, is my biggin broken, boy ? 
Or have my towers been won ? 
Or is my lady lighter yet, 
Of a dear daughter or son? " 

25 " Your biggin isna broken, sir, 

Nor have vour towers been won; 
Nor is your lady lighter yet. 
Of dear daughter or son. 

26 " But her brother has gar'd build a fire, 

And tie her to a stake; 
On the head of their highest tower, 
To bum her for your sake." 

27 " Oh, saddle to me the black, the black, 

Or saddle to me the brown ; 
Or saddle to me the swiftest steed 
That e'er rade frae the town." 

28 As he drew nigh unto the tower, 

She heard his horn blaw : 
" Mend up the fire, my fause brother, 
I mind ye not a straw." 

20 As he drew nearer to the tower, 

She heard his war-horse sneeze : 
" Mend up the fire, my fause brother, 
It 's nae come to my knees." 

30 When he alighted at the yett, 

She heard his bridle ring ; 
" Mend up the fire, my fause brother, 
It's far yet frae my chin. 

31 " But look about, my fause brother, 

Ye see not what I see ; 
For I see him comin' hard and fast, 
Will soon mend it for thee. 

82 " Oh, if my hands had been loose, Willie, 

Sae hard as they are boun', 
I wad ha'e tum'd me frae the gleed, 
And casten out your son." 

83 " Oh, I'll gar bum for you, Maisry, 

Your father and your mother ; 

And ril gar burn for you, Maisry, 

Your sister and your brother; 

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84 " And ni gar burn for you, Maisry, 
The chief of all your tin ;• 

And the last bonfire that I come to, 
Myself I will cast in ; 

But FU reward the pretty boy, 
That did thine errand rin.** 


First published by Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. 221. He does not 
mention from whence it is derived, but in note 155, p. cL, he states, 
" I have been unable to trace this ballad to any historical source. In 
its Bul^ect it resembles ' Lady Maisry. ' " (See mtroduction thereto, p. 
74.) In Ariosto's Oinevra, ''it is mentioned that ladies guilty of 
incontinence were, by the laws of Scotland, doomed to the flames ; 
but this cruel enactment has no foundation, we beHeve^ in the 
criminid code of the land, — at least, within historic times." 

1 There lived a lady in Scotland, 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy ; 
There lived a lady in Scotland, 

And dearly she loved me ; 
There lived a lady in Scotland, 

And she 's fallen in love with an Englishman, 
And bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee. 

2 The father unto the daughter came, 

Hev, my love, and ho, my joy; 
The rather unto the daughter came, 

And dearly she loved me ; 
The father unto the daughter came, 

Saying, " Will yon forsake that Englishman ? " 
And Donnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee. 

8 " If you will not that Englishman forsake. 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy ; 
If yon will not that Englishman forsake, 

So dearly loved by thee : 
If you will not that Englishman forsake, 

Oh, I will burn you at a stake I " 
And bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee. 

* The share taken in fhie anto-da-M by "father/* "mother,** and **slBter,** as 
Indicated by the retrtbatlon threatened, appears to have eitoer dropped oat of 
Jamieeon*8 version of the ballad, or to haTo been added In Mofherweu's "Lady 
Haijorie,** MimtreUy, p. 385, where it is thns given :~ 
" Her father he pat on the pat, 
Her sister pat on the pan, 
And her brother he pat on a banld, baold fire, 

To bam Lady Marjorie in ; 
And her mother she sat in a golden chair, 
To see her daughter bam." 
Ths msnflon of ^ (he pat," and " the pan/* in the first two of these liaea, Fayoore of 
cookery; bot there is no otb^r roMon for enspeoUsg the family to be Inclinod tQ 

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4 "I will not that Englishman forsake, 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy ; 
I will not that Englishman forsaKe, 

"Who dearly loveth me ; 
I will not that Englishman forsake, 

Though you should bum me at a stake ! " 
And bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee. 

5 " Oh, where will I get a pretty little boy. 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy ; 
Oh, where will I get a pretty little boy. 

Who dearly loveth me ; 
Oh, where I will get a pretty little boy, 

Who will carry tidings to my joy, 
That bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee?" 

6 " Here am I, a prettv little boy, 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy ; 
Here am I, a pretty little bioy. 

Who dearly loveth thee; 
Hero am I, a pretty little boy, 

Who will carry tidings to thy joy, 
That bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee." 

7 " Give to him this right hand glove, 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy; 
Give to him this right hand glove, 

Who dearly loveth me ; 
Give to him this right hand glove, 

Tell him to get another love, 
For bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee. 

8 " Give to him this little pen-knife. 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy; 
Give to him this little pen-knife, 

Who dearly loveth me; 
Give to him this little pen-knife. 

Tell him to get another wife, 
For bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee. 

9 " Give to him this gay gold ring. 

Hey, mj love, and ho, mjr joy; 
Give to him this gay gold ring, 

Who dearly loveth me ; 
Give to him this gay gold ring, 

Tell him Fm going to my burning, 
And bonnie Susie Cleland is to be burnt at Dundee** 

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10 Her father he ca*d up the stake, 

Hey, my love, and ho, my joy; 
Her &ther he ca^d up the stake, 

So dearly she loved me ; 
Her father he ca'd up the stake. 

Her brother he the fire did make, 
And bonnie Susie Cleland was burnt in Dundee. 


First appeared, in an imperfect state, under the title of '' Lord 
Wa'yates and Auld Ingram," in Jamieson's Pojntlar BaUadSj voL ii., 
p. 266 ; and then, in a more complete form, in Maidment's North 
CoutUrie Oarland^ p. 24. The same gentleman contributed a slightly 
diflferent copj[ to Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 173; and a longer 
version, containing a number of inferior stanzas, is given by Buchan, 
Ancient Ballads and Songs, &c., vol. i., p. 234. 

Jamieson*s version was printed " from Herd's MS., [as] transmitted 
by Mr. [afterwards Sir Walter] Scott." In it the rivals are repre- 
sented to be unde and nephew ; while the incon^nity and incompati- 
bility of the marriage are fally and graphictmy exhibited iu the 
following stanzas :— 

" When e*en ttbs oome, and e'on bells rung, 
And a* men gane to bed. 
The bride bnt and the sUly bridegroom 
In ae chamber were laid. 

" Wasna *t a fell thing for to see 
Twa heads upon ae cod,— 
Lady Malsry's like the molten gond, 
Aold Ingram's like a toad ? 

*' He tum'd his face unto the stock, 
And sonnd he fen asleep ; 
She tum'd her face nnto the wa*, 
And saut tears she did weep." 

Maidment*s version is the one here generally followed; but 
some half-dozen stanzas of it have been omitted; while iifteeu 
stanzas or so have been added from the other versions— mostly from 
Buchan's, as, for instance^ stanzas 27 to 35 inclusive, — ^whUe many of 
the others are, with the exception of slisht verbal dififerences, common 
to both versions. It will be seen that, by leaving out stanzas 27 to 35, 
the story reads as if Childe Vyet had concetded nimself in the bridal 
chamber, and that the bloody tragedy had been there enacted, — ^thus 
imparting a cast to the story resembling in some respects Sir Walter 
Scotfs '* Bride of Lammermoor. " 

Stanzas 12 and 13 occur in the preceding ballad, " Lady Maisry " 
(stanzas 22 and 23), where the^ are followed by other two (stanzas 
24 and 25), which are almost identical with two stanzas in ** Lord 
Wa'yates and Auld Ingram^*' as given by Jamieson. 

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In the copy famished to Motherwell, the last word of the first 
stanza leads *' bonheur," from which " circumstance " Mr. Maidment 
coDJectores that the ballad **may probably have had a French 

This ballad may be comnared with *' Ebbe Skammelson," as trans- 
lated by Mr. Kobcrt Bncnanan, in Ballad Stories of the AffectUm», 
from the Scandinavian, p. 31 ; and with the somewhat comic ballad, 
entitled " Sir John," as given in Old Danish Ballads, translated from 
Orimnuf Collection, p. 117. 

1 Lord Ingram and Childe Vyet 

Were both born in ono bow'r, 
Laid both their loves on one lady; 
The less was their honour. 

2 Lord Ingram and Childe Vyet 

Were both bred in ono hall, 
Laid both their loves on one lady; 
The worse did them befall. 

3 Lord Ingram woo'd Lady Maisry 

From father and from mother ; 

Lord Ingram woo*d Lady Maisry 

From sister and from brother. 

4 Lord Ingram woo'd Ladv Maisry 

With leave of all her kin ; 
But Childe Vyet woo'd Lady Maisry, 
And her love he did win. 

5 Now, it foil out upon a day, 

She was dressing her head, 
That ben did come her father dear, 
Wearing the gold so red. 

G " Get up now, Lady Maisry, 
Put on your wedding gown : 
Lord Ingram you must wed this day, 
Before the sun go down ! " 

7 " rd rather be Childe Vyet's wife, 

The white fish for to sell. 
Before I*d be Lord Ingram^s wife, 
To wear the silks so well ! 

8 " I'd rather be Childe Vyct's wife, 

With him to beg my bread, 
Before I'd be Lord Ingram's wife, 
To wear the gold so red." 

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9 Her father tam'd him round about, 
And solemnly aware he— > 
'' It *8 you shall be the bride ere night, 
And he bridegroom shall be." 

10 " Where will I get a bonnie boy 

Will win gold to his fee ; 
Will run unto Childe Vyet's hall 
With this letter from me?" 

11 Out spake a boy — " Oh, here am I, 

Will win gold to my fee, 
And run unto Childe Vyet's hall 
With any letter from thee." 

12 And when he found the bridges broke, 

He bent his bow and swam ; 
And when he found the grass growing, 
He hastened and he ran. 

13 And when he came to Vyet's castle, 

He did not knock nor call ; 
But set his bent bow to his breast, 

And lightly leaped the wall ; 
And, ere the porter open*d the gate. 

The boy was in the hall. 

14 The first line that Childe Vyet read, 

A tear did dim his e^e ; 
The next word that Childe Vyet read, 
An angry man was he. 

15 He dang the board up with his foot, 

So did he with his knee ; 
The silver cup that was on it, 
In the fire he made it flee. 

16 " What ails my brother, Lord Ingram, 

He'll not let my love be? 
What ails my brother, Lord Ingram, 
He takes my love from me? 

17 " Take four-and-twenty buck and roe, 

And ten tun of the wine, 
And bid my love be blithe and glad. 
And I will follow syne." 

18 Sweetly play*d the merry organ 

Into her mother's bow'r ; 
But silent stood Lady Maisry, 
And let the tears down pour. 

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19 Sweetly play'd the harp sao fine, 

Into ner father*B hall; 
But silent stood Lady Maisnr, 
And let the tears down fall. 

20 Her noble kinsmen gathered were, 

Each with a hawk in hand ; 
And every lady in the place 
Did wear a gay garland. 

21 And each of the retainers 

In gay attire was clad ; 
And all were blithe and merry, 
Bat Lady Maisry sad. 

22 *Tween Marykirk and that castle 

Was all spread o'er with garl,* 
To keep the bride and her bndesmaids 
From tramping on the marl. 

23 From Marykirk to that castle 

Was spread a cloth of gold, 
To keep the bride and her bridesmaids 
From treading on the mold. 

24 When^mass was sung, and bells were rung, 

And all in bed were laid, 
Lord Ingram to Lady Maisry said — 
** I fear you are no maid. 

25 " But if you father your bairn on mo, 

And on no other man, 
Then I will give him to his dowry 
Full fifty ploughs of land." 

26 " I will not father my bairn on you, 

Nor on no wrongous man, 
Tho' you wou'd give him to his dowry 
Five thousand ploughs of land." 

27 " Whoever be your bairn's father, 

If you father it on me, 
The fairest castle of Snowdown 
Your morning gift shall be." 

* Shonld elUier read "garol "—ft Btripe of soft gram on bairen or hard monntaln- 
land, from "gare," or **gair,** a Btripe or streak— or "harle," the reed or stem of 
flax; i. Ct eUber fine gnaa or flax reeds were strewn along the pathway. 

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28 " Whoever bo my bairn^s father, 

IMl ne'er father it on thee ; 
For better I love my bairn's father 
Nor ever I'll love thee." 

29 Then he 's ta'en out a trusty brand, 

Laid it between them twac ; 
Says — " Lye yo there, ye ill woman, 
A maid for me till day." 

30 Next morning forth Lord Ingram went, 

Well belted with a brand ; 

And forth fair Lady Maisry led 

To her father by the hand. 

81 " If your daughter had been a good woman, 
As I thought she had been, 
Cold iron shou'd have never lain 
The long night us between." 

32 '' Ohon! alas ! my daughter dear, 

What 's this I hear of thee? 

I thought no better woman lived 

Within the north countrie ! " 

33 " Oh, hold your tongue, my father dear, 

And cease upbraiding me ; 
I never lov'd Lord Ingram, 

But was forced his bride to be." 

04 Then in there came him Childe Vyct, 
Bearing a naked brand ; 
And up then raise him Lord Ingram, 
His orother to withstand. 

35 " Win up, win up now. Lord Ingram, 
Win up immediately ; 
That you and I the quarrel try. 
Who gains the victory." 

86 Then forward darted Childe Vyct, 

Shed back his yellow hair. 
And gave Lord Ingram to the heart 
A deep wound and a sair. 

87 Then forward darted Lord Ingram, 

Shed back his coal-black hair. 
And gave Childe Vyet to the heart 
A deep wound and a sair. 

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38 There was no pity for these two knights, 

When they were lying dead ; 
But all was for Lady Maisry, 
Who in that bow'r went mad. 

39 '' Oh, get to me a cloak of cloth, 

A staff of good hard tree ; 

If I have been an ill woman. 

Sore penance I shall dree. 

40 " If I have been an ill woman, 

Alas I and woe is me ; 
For up and down the warld wide, 
I shall beg till I dee. 

41 " For ae bit I beg for Childe Vyet, 

For Lord Ingram I'll beg three; 
All for the honour that he paid 
At Marykirk to me." 


" Belongs to r. numerous class of Danish and Scottish ballads."—- 
Jamieson's lUtMirationa qf Northern AnHguUieSf p. 335. 

The words quoted form part of the Introduction to ** Young Child 
Dyring," translated by Jamieson from the Kantipe Viser, 

The analogous Scotish ballads are as follows : — 

I. ** The Laird of Laminton," Scott's Minstrelsy, first edition. 
IL '" Catherine Janfarie,' from several recited copies," Soott's 
Minstrelsy, last edition, vol. iii., p. 122. 
IIL " Catherine Jaffeiy," Maidment's North CoimtrU Garland, 
p. 34. 

IV. " ' Catherine Johnstone,' obtained from recitation in the 

West of Scothmd," Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 225. 

V. " Loch-in-var," Buchan's Gleanings, p. 74, 

VL " Eatherine Jaffray," a fragment of four stanzas, found in 
the handwriting of Bums. This fragment is not only 
printed as a song of his composition, and copyright in it 
claimed by the publisher of the Aldine edition of Bums's 
Poetical Works, 1839, but the same error is perpetuated 
in all the subsequent reprints of the Aldine emtion ! 

Sir Walter Scott's spirited and popular ballad, ** Lochinvar," which 
appears in Marmion, is founded on this early ballad. The ballad 
which follows next in order is also somewhat sunilar in incident 


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The antiquity of this ballad may be inferred from the number of 
different versions in Scotish and Danish, irrespective of the supposed 
reference in "the tenth stanza," which, says MotherweU, ''seems to 
contain an allusion to the knights of the round table." 

"The residence of the lady, and the scene of the affray at her 
bridal, is said by old peoi)le to have been upon the bankis of the 
Cadden, near to where it joins the Tweed. Others say the skirmish 
was fought near Traquair, and [that] Katharine Janfarie's dwelling 
was in the glen about three miles above Traquair House." — Scott's 

Motherwell's version transfers the scene to the classic district of 
Cowdenknowes, on the banks of the Leader, and one of the stanzas in 
Scott's own version corroborates this tranrfer. (See note to stanza 
20, p. 88.) 

In Scott's first and Motherwell's versions, the hero is said to bo 
the ''Laird of Laminton," or "Lamington," in Clydesdale ; but in 
Scott's second version tibe successful lover is said to be "Lord 
Lauderdale," and the disappointed rival "Lord Lochinvar;" which 
names are transposed in Maidment's version. 

Bums's fragment also names the successful lover " Lord Lauderdale," 
while the rival " frae the English border" is named " Laird o' Loch- 

The titles of the lover and rival, as given in Buchan's version, aro 
here adopted, but Scott's and Motherwell's versions are those chiefly 

Lockhart, who edited the last edition of Scott's Minstrelsv, suggests, 
with flpreat plausibility, that the heroine "was a Johnstone of 
Wamphray^ and that Catherine o' Wamphray had been blundered 
by the Ettrick reciters into Katharine Jeffray, vulgarly pronounced 
Jauf ray."— Note, voL iii., p. 125. 

It only remains to state that Lochinvar— a lake of three miles 
circuit, situate in Kirkcudbright, Galloway — ^gave name to the 
domain and title of Knights of Lochinvar to a branch of the Gordon 
£Eunily, which family acquired the title of Viscount Kenmnre in 
1633, a title which was attainted on the execution of William, sixth 
Viscount, 1716; restored bv Act of Parliament, 1824; and which 
became dormant at the death of the ninth Viscount, in 1847. 

Assuming Lockhart's conjecture with regard to the family of the 
heroine to be correct, and further, that the hero is correctly named 
" Lord Lochinvar," then the scene of the sanguinary encounter would 
neither be the river Gaddon or its vicinity, as stated by Scott, nor 
Cowdenbrae, as @ven bv Motherwell, both of which localities lie to 
the eastward of Wamphray; but rather Cluden Water, a tributary 
of the river Nith, both of which Lord Lochinvar would require to 
cross on his homeward and westward flight. 

The probabilities are so strongly in favour of this theory as to 
warrant the alteration from the "Caddon," of Scott, and the 
"Couden," of Motherwell, to Cluden, as here printed. 

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1 There was a May, and a weel-far'd May, 

Lived high up in yon glen ; 
Her name was Eatherine Janfarie, 
Weel loved by mony men. 

2 Then up came young Lord Lochinvar, 

Up frae the Lawland border ; 
He came to court this bonnie May, 
All mounted in good order. 

3 Lord Lochinvar he courted her, 

Unknown to all her kin ; 
Lord Lochinvar he courted her, 
And did her favour win. 

4 Up then came Lord Lymington, 

Frae o'er the English border ; 
He came to seek this bonnie May, 
All mounted in good order. 

6 He sought her frae father and mother baitb, 
And they did answer Yea ; 
But he ask'd not the bonnie May liersell, 
Or the answer would been Nay. 

6 She never heard a word of it 

Till on her wedding day, 
When her father he did order her 
To busk in bride's array. 

7 She sent word to Lord Lochinvar, — 

" My wedding come and see ; " 
And he sent answer back to her, — 
"I will not fail to be." 

8 Then he has sent a messenger 

In haste throughout his land, 
And four-and-twenty stalwart men 
Were soon at his command. 

9 But he has left his merry men 

ConceaVd in greenwood free, 
While he rade to the wedding-houso 
As fast as fast cou'd be. 

10 When he came to the wedding-house, 
He entered there, and found 
Full four-and-twenty belted knights 
Set at a table round. 

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11 They all rose up to honour him, 

For ho was of high renown ; 
They all rose up to welcome him, 
And bade him to sit down. 

12 Oil, meikle was the good red wiuo 

Was filled up them between ; 
But the bride aye drank to Lochinvar, 
^Vha her true love had been. 

13 She pledged the health of Lochinvar, 

As toasts were circled round : 
While her kin ^rasp'd their gude sword-hilts, 
And wrathfully tney frown'd. 

11 " Oh, came ye here for sport, young lord, 
Or came ye here for play ? 
Or came ye here to drink good wine 
Upon the wedding day?" 

15 "I came not here for sport," he said, 

" I came not here for play ; 
But with the bride I'll lead a dance, 
Then mount and go my way." 

16 They set her bridesmaids her behind, 

To hear what they would say ; 
But never a word to her he said, 
Save — " Mount and come away." 

17 Then took her by the milk-white hand. 

And by the grass-green sleeve, 
And mounted her behind himsell, 
At her kin spiered nae leave. 

18 " Now take your bride. Lord Lymington, 

Now take her if you may I 
But if you take your bride again, 
We'll call it but foul play." 

19 There were four-and-twenty belted knights. 

All clad in Johnstone gray,* 
Said they would take the bride again, 
By strong hand, if they may. 

20 Some of them were right willing meu. 

But sae they were na all. 
When four-and-twenty Gordons gay 
Came at their leader's call.f 

* The liyery of the ancient famny of Johnstone. 
t » And foor^nd-twenty Leader lads 

I^id them mount aud ride awa."-^0CTi*8 YersIOB. 

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21 Then swords were drawn frae out their sheathSi 

As they rush'd to the fray, 
And red and rosy was the bluid 
llan down the lily brae. 

22 The bluid ran down by Cluden bank, 

And down by Cluden brae ; 
While the bride she made the trumpet sound, 
" It is a weel won play." 

23 Oh, meikle was the bluid was shed 

Upon the Cluden brae ; 
And aye she made the trumpet sound, 
" Oh, it is all fair play." 

24 My blessing on your heart, sweet thing I 

But wae your wilful will I 
There 's mony a gallant gentleman 
Whose bluid ye have gar'd spill. 

25 Now, all ye lords of fair England, 

Across the Border born, 
Oh, come not here to seek a wife, 
For fear ye get the scorn. 

26 They'll feed ye up with flattering words, 

And play ye foul, foul play ; 
Then dress ye frogs instead of fish. 
Upon your wedding day. 


Versions of this ballad appeared in— 

I. Moiherweirs Minstrehy, p. 307, under the title of " Sweet 
William," as " given from the chaunting of an old woman." 

II. Bnchan*8 Ancient Ballads and Songs, vol. ii., p. 57, under 
the title of " Loi-d Lundy." 

IIL ScoUieh Traditional Versions of Ancient Ballads, p. 57; 
which last was *' printed for the Percy Sode^,*' as 
selected from 'Hwo folio (MS.) volumes, consifitinff of 
ballads, songs, and poems, taken down by'' — ^the last- 
named industrious and highly successful collector and 
editor— *' Mr. P. Bnchan of Peterhead, North Britain, 
from the oral rocita^on of the peasantry of his countiy." 

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The ballad here printed is collated from all three; Motherwell's 
being the one principally followed. 

The ballad resembles, and in fact all the versions contain stanzas 
almost identical with several in '* Sweet Willie and Fair Janet," p. 67. 

It has also some features of resemblance to ''Katherine JanfArie," 
which precedes, and to ''TheQayGos-hawk,^' which follows. 

The mention of *' pistol, powder, and lead,'' stanzas 18 and 19, and 
the reference to shootm^ stanzas 19 and 20, are probably anachronisms 
introduced by some mcSem reciter. 

With reference to the introduction of the *' wee bird," as a love 
messenger, it may be noted, that *'to understand the language of 
birds was peculiarly one of the boasted sciences of the Arabians ; who 
pretend that many of their countrvmen have been skilled in the 
knowledge of the language of birds ever since the time of King 
Solomon. Their writers relate that Balkis, the Queen of Sheba, or 
Saba, had a bird called Hudimd, that is, a laxiwing, which she 
despatched to King Solomon on various occasions; and that this 
trusty bird was the messenger of their amours. We are told that 
Solomon having been secretly informed by this winded confidant that 
Balkis intend^ to honour him with a grand einbassy, inclosed a 
spacious square with a wall of gold and silver bricks, in which he 
raiLgedhis numerous troops and attendants in order to receive the 
ambassadors, who were astonished at the suddenness of these snlendid 
and unexpected preparations." — Warton's History qf English Poetry, 

See also quotation from Sir Walter Scott, at the dose of the intro« 
duction to the ballad which comes after this. 

1 Lord Wiluam had but ae dear son. 

For valour had nae peer; 
Lord Lundie had but ae daaghteri 
For beauty nane came near. 

2 Upon ae book they baith did read, 

On ither their love did lay; 
But when Lord Lundie got word of this, 
To his daughter he did say, — 

8 " Oh, ye maun marry the English prince, 
The Queen of England to be; 
And ye maun leave your love William, 
Or baith of you shall dee." 

4 She walk'd up, and she walk'd down, 
Had nane to hear her moan; 
Nae creature but the pretty bird, 
Sat on the window stone, 

6 " If thou cou'dst speak, wee bird," she said, 
" As weel as you can flee; 
A message to my love William| 
It *0 1 wou*d send by thee,** 

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6 " Write a letter to William," it said, 

" And seal it with thy ring; 
Then take a thread of the silk sae fine, 
And round my neck it hing." 

7 She wrote a letter to love William, 

And seaVd it with her ring; 
Then with a thread of the finest silk. 
Bound the bird's neck did it hing. 

8 This bird flew high, this bird flew low, 

It flew o'er hill and lea; 
This bonnie wee bird flew alang, 
As fast as it cou'd flee. 

9 It flew to where young Squire William 

In a balcony did stand; 
And straight to him the wee bird flew 
And lighted on his hand. 

10 " Oh, here is a letter. Squire William, 

Frae thy true love to thee; 
And ere the morn at twelve o'clock. 
Your love shall married be." 

11 "To horse, to horse," Squire William cried, 

" At her bridal I maun be; 
And I'll never come back a living man. 
If the bride come not with me." 

12 Then with a goodly companie, 

Each mounted on a steed. 
Squire William and they, to Marykirk, 
Kade on at utmost speed. 

13 When the lady enter'd the kirk style, 

Her tears fell fast and free; 
But when she enter'd the kirk door, 
A blithe sight she did see. 

14 For there she saw her love William, 

In armour shinin' clear; 
And all his valiant companie, 
Full many a glitterin' spear. 

15 The parson he took book in hand, 

The marriage to begin; 
Then forward young Squire William strode, 
Bride and bridegroom between. 

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16 " Oh, hold a little, thou holy man, 

Oh, hold a little,'^ said he, 
" Till I speak with the bonnie bride — 
She *s a dear, dear friend to me. 

17 " Stand off, stand off, ye braw bridegroom. 

Stand off, stand off," said he ; 
" Stand off, stand off, ye braw bridegroom, 
The bride shall join with me." 

18 Up then spake the bride's father. 

And an angry man was he — 
" If I had pistol, powder, and lead, 
A dead man you wou'd be. 

19 " If I had pistol, powder, and lead. 

With mo at my command. 
It's I would shoot thee stiff and dead, 
In the place where thou dost stand." 

20 Up and spake then Squire William, 

While blithely blink'd his e'e— 
" If ye ne'er be shot till I shoot you, 
You'll ne'er be shot for me." 

21 " Oh, if my daughter marries you 

Without the leave of me, 
I make a vow, and I'll keep it true, 
A portionless bride she'll be." 

22 Up and spake then Squire William, 

And light he laugh'd with glee — 
" I've got the best portion now, my lord, 
That ye cou'd gi'e to me. 

23 " Your gude red gold I value not, 

Nor value I vour fee; 
I ha'e her by the hand this day 
That 's dearer far to me. 

24 " Let the young prince clasp your gold coffer, 

When he gangs till his bed; 
Let the young prince clasp your gold coffer, 
And I my bonnie bride. 

25 " Commend me to my good mother, 

At night when you gang home ; 
Come out, come out, my foremost roan, 
And lift mj lady on," 

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26 Oat then spake him Lord Lundie, 
An angrv man was he: 
" My daughter will marry Squire William, 
It seems, in spite of me." 


Three versions of this ballad have been published : — 

I. By Sir Walter Scott, Min^rdsy, vol. iii., p. 161, " partly 
from one under this title in Mrs. Brown's collection, 
and partly from a MS. of some antiquity, penes Edit.*' 
II. By Motherwell, p. 353, under the title of "The Jolly 
Gos-hawk," from a MS. sent to Mr. Peter Buohan, and 
" forwarded " by him to his " good friend," the editor of 
Minetrelsy, Anient and Modem. 

takes the place of the gos-hawk.'' It opens [witn the 
following stanza : — 

* When grass grew green on Lanark plains, 

'1 fruit and ^ "' — * - 

^ttiBhaqoi] . 
Sae merrify thns did sing.** 

And fruit and flowers did spring, 
A SoottiBh squire, in oheerfu^strtins, 

Followed by a stanza corresponding to stanza 4 of 
the present version, and to the one with which Mother- 
wcdl s begins. 
The present version is compiled from all three. 
The simile, stanza 7, "resembles a passage in a MS. translation of 
an Irish fSaiiy tale, caUed 'The Adventures of Faravla, Princess of 
Scotland, and Carral O'Daly, Son of Donogho More CDaly, Chief 
Bard of Ireland.' Faravla, as she enter^ her bower, cast her 
looks upon the earth, which was tinced with the blood of a bird 
which a raven had newly killed. 'like that snow,' said Faravla, 
' was the complexion of my beloved ; his cheeks like the sanguine 
traces thereon ; whilst the raven recalls to my memory the colour of 
his beautiful locks.' There is also some resemblance in the conduct 
of the story, betwixt the ballad and the tale just quoted. The princess 
Faravla, hang desperately in love with Cairal O'Daly, despatches in 
search of him a faithful confidante, who, by her magical art, trans- 
forms herself into a hawk, and perching upon the windows of the 
bard, conveys to him information of the distress of the princess of 

"In the ancient romance of 'Sir Tristrem,' the simile of the 'blood 
drops upon snow ' likewise occurs :— 

* A bride bright thai ches 
As blod opon snoweing.* ** 

Sir Walter ScotVs Muisirelsy, yol iii, p. 152. 

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1 "Oh, weel is me my gay gos-hawk, 

If your feathering be sheen 1 " 
"Oh, waly, waly, my master dear, 
But ye look pale and lean ! 

2 "Oh, have ye tint, at tournament, 

Your sword, or yet your spear ? 

Or mourn ye for the Southern lass 

Whom you may not win near?" 

3 "I have not tint, at tournament, 

My sword nor yet my spear ; 
But sair I mourn for my true love, 
With mony a bitter tear. 

4 " But weel is me my gay gos-hawk, 

That ye can speak and lee; 
Ye shall carry a letter to my love, 
Bring an answer back to me." 

6 " But how shall I your true love find, 
Or how shou'd I her know ? 
I bear a tongue ne'er with her spake, 
And eyes that ne'er her saw." 

6 " Oh, weel shall ye my true love ken, 

Sae Bune as ye ber see ; 
For of all the flowers of fair England, 
The fairest flower is she. 

7 " Oh, what is red of her is red 

As bluid drapp'd on the snaw ; 
And what is wnite of her is white 
As milk, or wild sea-maw. 

8 " And even at my love's bow'r door 

You'll find a bowing birk ; 
And ye maun sit and sing thereon. 
As she gangs to the kirk. 

9 " And four-and-twenty fair ladyes 

Will to the mass repair; 
But well may ye my ladye ken. 
The fairest ladye there. 

10 " And when she goes into the house, 
Light ye upon the whin ; 
And sit ye there and sing our lovc3| 
As she goes out and in,'' 

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11 Lord William has wi'itten a love letter, 

Put it under his pinion gray ; 
And he is awa to Southern land 
As fast as wings can gae. 

12 And even at that ladye's'how'r 

There grew a flowering hirk ; 
And he sat down and sung thereon. 
As she gaed to the kirk. 

13 And weel he kent that ladyo fair, 

Amang her maidens free, 
For the flower that springs in May morning 
Was not sae sweet as she. 

14 And when she came hack from the mass, 

He sat him on a whin, 
And sans foU sweet the notes of love, 
Till all was cosh * within. 

15 And first he sang a low, low note, 

And syne he sang a clear ; 
And aye the o'erword of the saner 
Was — " Your love can no win here." 

16 *' Feast on, feast on, my maidens all, 

The wine flows you amang. 
While I gang to my shot- window. 
And hear yon sweet bird's sang. 

17 " Sing on, sing on, my bonnie bird, 

With feathering sae sheen; 
For weel I ken, by your sweet sang, 
You left my love yestreen." 

18 Oh, first he sang a merry sang. 

And syne he sang a grave ; 
And svne he pecked his feathers gray. 
To her the letter gave. 

19 " Have there a letter from Lord William; 

He says he 's sent ye three; 

He cann^ wait your love 1 anger. 

But for your sake he*Il dee." 

20 " I send him the rings from my white fingers. 

The garlands oS my hair ; 
I send him the heart that 's in my breast. 
What wou'd my love have mair? 

* **Oo6b:"6ni>g} comfortable; quiet, 

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21 " Gae bid him bake his bridal bread, 

And brew his bridal ale, 
And I shall meet him at Mary's kirk, 
Lang, lang ere it be stale." 

22 She hied her to her father dear. 

As fast as gang couM she: 
" A boon, a boon, my father dear, 
A boon I beg of thee I" 

23 " Ask what vou will, my dear daughter, 

And I will grant it thee; 
Unless to marry yon Scottish squire ; 
That's what shall never be." 

24 ** Oh, that's the asking, father," she said, 

" That I'll ne'er ask of thee ; 
But if I die in merry England, 
In Scotland ye'll bury me. 

25 " And the first kirk that ye come to, 

Ye 's gar the mass be sung ; 
And the next kirk that ye come to, 
Ye 's gar the bells be rung. 

2G " At the third kirk of fair Scotland, 
You'll deal ^old for my sake ; 
And at that ku-k, St. Mary's kirk, 
All night my body wake." 

27 '^ The asking 's nae sae great, daughter, 

But granted it shall be; 
And tho' ye die in merry England, 
In Scotland we'll bury theo." 

28 And she has gane to her step-mother, 

Fell low down on her knee: 
" An asking, an asking, mother dear, 
I pray you grant it me." 

29 " Ask what you please, my lily-white dove, 

And granted it shall bo." 

" If I do die in merry England, 

In Scotland gar bury me." 

SO " Oh, bad these words been to speak again, 
Fd not have granted thee; 
You ha'e a love in fair Scotland, 
With him you fain wou'd be," 

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81 She has hied her to her bigly bow'r 
As fast as she cou^d fare; 
And she has drank a sleepy draught 
Tliat she had mix'd with care. 

32 And pale, pale grew her rosy cheek, 

That was sae bright of blec, 
And she seem'd to be as surely dead 
As any one cou'd be. 

33 Then spake her cruel step-minnie, — 

" Take ye the burning load, 
And drap a drap on her bosom, 
To try if she be dead." 

34 They took a drap of boiling lead, 

And drappM it on her breast; 
" Alas! alas!" her father cry'd, 
" She 's dead without the priest." 

35 She neither chattered with her teeth, 

Nor shiver'd with her chin ; 
" Alasl alas I" her father cry'd, 
" There is nae breath within." 

36 Then up arose her seven brethren, 

And hew^d to her a bier; 
They hew'd it frae the solid aik. 
Laid it o'er with silver clear. 

37 Her sisters they went to a room, 

To make to her a sark; 
The cloth of it was satin fine, 
And the steeking silken wark. 

88 The first Scots kirk that they came to, 
They gar'd the bells be nmg; 
The next Scots kirk that they came to, 
They gar'd the mass be sung. 

39 But when they came to St. Mary's kirk. 

There stude spearmen all on a raw; 
And up and started Lord William, 
The chieftain o'er them a'. 

40 " Set down, set down the corpse," he said, 

" Till I look on the dead; 
The last time that I saw her face, 
She ruddy was and red. 

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41 " Set down, set down the bier," he said; 

" Let me look her upon ; " 
But as soon as Lord William touch'd her hand, 
Her colour 'gan to come. 

42 She brighten'd like the lily flower. 

Till her pale colour was gone; 
With rosy cheek and ruby lip, 
She smird her love upon. 

43 " A morsel of your bread, my lord. 

And one glass of your wine ; 
For I ha'e fasted those three lang days, 
All for your sake and mine. 

44 '* Gae hame, gae hame, my seven bauld brothers, 

Gae hame and blaw your horn! 
I trow ye wou'd ha'e ffi'en me the skaith, 
But I've gi'en you the scorn. 

45 "I came not here to fair Scotland, 

To mix amang the clay; 
I came to be Lord William's wife, 
And wear the silks so gay. 

•IG "I came not here to fair Scotland, 
To lye amang the dead ; 
But I came here to fair Scotland, 
To wear the gold so red. 

47 " Commend me to my gray father, 

That wish'd my saul gude rest; 

But wae be to my cruel step-dame, 

Gar'd burn mo on the breast.'' 

48 " Ah! woe to you, you light woman! 

An ill death may you die ! 
For we left father and sisters at harac, 
Breaking their hearts for thee. 

49 " But since ye ha'e gi'en to us this scorn, 

We shall gi'e you anither; 
For the only tocher you shall get 
Is the bier that brought ye hither." 


From Bachan's Ancient Ballade and Sanga, voL i., p. 49, and not«- 
p. 295. 

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''In the Oriental courts of the ancients, magic was a favottrite 
Btud^ ;" and ' ' till within " a comDaratively recent period, '* a belief in 
magic and witchcraft was cherisned, not only by the ignorant, but 
the learned, in our own" and other European countries. In Toledo, 
Seville, and Salamanca, and in various parts of Italy, there were, 
during the middle ages, *' public schools where magic was taught." In 
our own country, the names of Merlin, Michael Scot, Lord Soulis, and 
Thomas the Rhymer, are famous on account of their alleged magical 
and supernatural gifts ; and in more recent times it is stated, in con- 
nection with the (S)wrie conspiracy, that "When he — t.c.. Earl Gowrie 
— went to Padua, there he studied necromancy ; and his own pedagog^ue. 
Master Khind, testifies, that he had those characters aye upon mm, 
which he loved so, that if he had forgot to put them in his breeches, 
he would run up and down like a madman; and he had them upon 
him when he was slain ; and as they testify that saw it, he could not 
bleed so long as they were upon him." 

Transformations are common to the mythology and early literature 
of all nations ; such as the metamorphosis of goSa and men mto " birds, 
beasts, fishes, woods, and water.'' 

"This ballad has the highest claim to antiquity. The learned 
Lord Hailes says the title of Mar is one of the earldoms whose 
origin is lost in its antiquitv. It would therefore be vain for me to 
ascribe the date of the ballad to any precise period." The quotations 
are taken from Mr. Buchan's note above referred to. 

1 It was intil a pleasant time, 

Upon a simmer's day, 
The noble Earl of Mars daughter 
Went forth to sport and play. 

2 As thus she did amuse hcrscr 

Below a green aik tree, 
There she saw a sprightly doo 
Set on a tower sae nie. 

3 "0 Cow-me-doo, my love sao true, 

If yo'U come down to me, 
Ye'se ha'e a cage of gudo red gowd, 
Instead of simple tree : 

4 " I'll put gowd hingers roun* your cage, 

And silver roun' your wall; 
I'll gar ye shine as fair o, bird 
As ony of them all." 

5 But she had not these words well spoke, 

Nor yet these words well said, 
Till Cow-me-doo flew frae the tower, 
And lighted on her head. 

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6 Then she has brought this pretty bird 

Hame to her bow'rs and hall, 
And made hini shine as fair a bird 
As ony of them all. 

7 When day was gane and night was come, 

About the evening tide, 
This lady spied a sprightly youth 
Stand straight up by her side. 

8 " From whence came ye, young man?" she said, 

" That does surprise me sair; 
My door was bolted right secure; 
What way ha'e ye come here?" 

" Oh, baud your tongue, ye lady fair, 
Let all your folly be; 
Mind ye not on your turtle doo, 
Last day ye brought with thee?" 

10 " Oh, tell me mair, young man," she said; 

" This does surprise mo now ; 
But what country ha'e ye come frae? 
What pedigree are you?" 

11 " My mither lives on foreign isles; 

She has nae mair but me ; 
She is a queen of wealth, and state, 
And birth, and high degree. 

12 " Likewise well skilled in magic spells, 

As ye may plainly see; 
And she transform'd me to yon shape, 
To charm such maids as thee. 

13 " I am a doo the live-lang day, 

A sprightly youth at night; 
This aye gars me appear mair fair 
In a fair maiden's sight. 

14 " And it was but this very day 

That I came o'er the sea; 
Your lovely face did me enchant : 
I'll live and dee with thee." 

15 ** Cow-me-doo, my luve sae true, 

Nae mair frae me ye'se gae." 
" That 's never mv intent, my luve; 
As ye said, it shall be sae/" 

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16 Then he has staid in bow'r with her 

For sax lang years and ane, 
Till sax young sons to him she bare, 
And the seventh she 's bi ought hame. 

17 But aye as ever a child was bom, 

Ho carried them away, 
And brought them to his mither^s care, 
As fast as they cou'd fly. 

18 Thus he has staid in bow*r with her 

For twenty years and three ; 
Then came a lord of high renown 
To court this fair ladye. 

19 But still his proifer she refused, 

And all his presents too ; 
Says — " I'm content to live alane, 
With my bird, Cow-me-doo." 

20 Her father sware a solemn oath 

Amang the nobles all, — 
" The mom, or ere I eat or drink, 
This bird I kill it shall." 

21 The bird was sitting in his cage, 

And heard what tlioy did say ; 
And when he found they were dinmisE'd, 
Says — " Waes me for this day. 

22 " Before that 1 do langer stay, 

And thus to bo forlorn, 
I'll gang unto my mither's bow'r, 
Where I was bred and born." 

23 Then Cow-me-doo took flight and flew 

Beyond the raging sea ; 
And lighted near his mither's castle, 
On a tower of gowd sae hie. 

24 As his mither was walking out, 

To see what she cou'd see. 
It 's there she saw her little son 
Set on the tower sae hie. 

25 ^^ Get dancers here to dance," she said, 

" And minstrels for to play; 
For here 's my young son, Florentine, 
Come here with me to stay," 

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26 " Get nae dancers to dance, mither, 

Nor minstrels for to play; 
For the mither of niy seven sons, 
The morn 's her wedding day." 

27 " Oh, tell me, tell me, Florentine, 

Tell me, and tell me true ; 
Tell me this day, without a flaw, 
What I will do for you." 

28 " Instead of dancers to dance, mither, 

Or minstrels for to play, 
Turn four-and-twenty wall- wight men. 
Like storks, in feathers gray; 

29 " My seven sons to seven swans, 

Aboon their heads to flee ; 
And I, mysel*, a gay gos-hawk, 
A bird of high degree." 

30 Then sighin*, said the queen herscl', 

" That thing 's too high for me ; " 
But she applied to an amd woman. 
Who had mair skill than she, 

31 Instead of dancers to dance a dance. 

Or minstrels for to play, 
Four-and-twenty wall-wight men 
Tum'd birds of feathers gray; 

32 Her seven sons to seven swans, 

Aboon their heads to flee ; 
And he, himseV, a gay gos-hawk, 
A bird of high degree. 

33 This flock of birds took flight and flow 

Bevond the raging sea ; 
And landed near the Earl Mar's castle, 
Took shelter in every tree. 

34 They were a flock of pretty birds. 

Right comely to be seen ; 
The people viewed them with surpriao 
As they danced on the green. 

35 These birds ascended frae the tree. 

And lighted on the hall; 
And at the last with force did flee 
Amang the nobles all« 

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30 The storkB there seized some of the men, 
They cou'd neither fight nor flee ; 
The swans they bound the bride's best man 
Below a green aik tree. 

37 They lighted next on maidens fair, 

Then on the bride's own head ; 

And with the twinkling of an c'e 

The bride and them were fled. 

38 There 's ancient men at weddings been, 

For sixty years or more ; 
But sic a curious wedding-day 
They never saw before. 


'* This ballad is much the same with the Breton romance, called 
* Lay le Frain/ or the *Son^ of the Ash,' a copy of which ancient 
romance is preserved in the mvaluable collection (W. 4. 1.) of the 
Advocates' Library, and begins thus :— 

'Wt- rc'.-lncSi ol'L and Hudurli j-rrrlle 
Aiul Uiia cli^j-kes Wftle It ¥Sii& 
La je$ UuLt \»n In bArpkig 
Ben ^foQBd of lerU iMtg 
Sam l»th of wer ftnd Mme ot wa 
Hma of jojr^ xnd rolrtbis also 
And iiun of tre^ciherio nnd gi\o 
Of old eTontouTB thftt fcl wliilr: 
And mm oi bcmrdes ftod ribamiy 
And nmnj xYjct both of fn^t^rj 

Of 111 lliiU^iib Slilit iUftJ rrili 

MaiBt 0* loye fonoUi yai betli. 

*In Breyteyne bi old time 
• ThiB Iatm were wrought to seithe this rimo 

When Kingee might our y here 
Of ani menraUes that ther wor 
They token a harp in glee and game 
And maked a lay and gaf it name 
Now of these aventours that weron y fulle 
Y can tell Bum ae nought alle 
Ae herkeneth lordinges sothe to eain 
I chil yon tel Lay le Frain 
Befel a cas in Breteyne 
Whereof wa« made Lay le FraIn 
In Ingliche for to tellen y wiB 
Of ane ashe f orsothe it is 
On ane ensammple fair with alle 
That snmtyme was bifalle,' &c 

** A baUad, agreeing in every respect with that which follows, exists 
in the Danish collection of ancient songs, entitled Kcempe Vise7\ 
It is called ' Skioen Anna,* t. «., Fair Annie ; and has been trans- 
lated literally by my learned friend, Mr. Robert Jamieson. See his 
Popular Ballads, Edin., 1806, vol. ii., p. 100. This work contains 
many original and curious observations on the connection between the 

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ancient poetry of Britain and of the northern nations." — Scott, 
Minatreliy^ vol. iii, p. 249. 

Vendona of the ballad also exist in Swedish, Dutch, and German, 
but in the latter it appears in a form " considerably changed." 

'* The Scottish versions are quite numerous. A fnu;ment of ei.^hfc 
stanzas was published in Herd s collection, ' Wha will bake my bridal 
bread,' Ed., 1776; i., 167. Sir Walter Scott gave a complete copy in 
the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border [* from the recitation of an old 
woman residing near Kirkhill, in West Lothian, the same from whom 
were obtained the variations in the tale of *' Tamlane " and the fra^^- 
ment of the " Wife of Usher*s Well " ']. Two other copies, also from 
oral tradition, were inserted by Jamieson in the appendix to his 
Popular Ballads, * Lady Jane* [from the recitation of Mrs. Brown], 
voL iL, p. 371 ; *Burd Helen' [from the recitation of Mrs. Arret], 
voL ii, p. 376 ; and from these he constructed the edition of ' Lady 
Jane,' printed at p. 73 of the same volume. Motherwell, Minstrelsy, 
p. 327, affords still another variety [under the title of 'Fair Annie '] ; 
and Chambers has compiled a ballad from all these sources, and a 
manuscript furnished by Mr. Kinloch, Scottish Ballads, p. 186." — 
Professor Child, English ami Scottish Ballads, vol. iii., ]>. 102. 

The ballad here published has been collated from the various 
Scotish versions named above. 

Part I. 

1 There liv'd a lord on yon sea-sido, 

And ho thought on a wile, 
How he would go o'er the salt sea, 
A lady to beguile. 

2 " It 's narrow make your bed, Annie. 

And learn to lye your lane ; 
For Pm gaun o'er tho sea, Annie, 

A braw bride to bring hame. 
With her I will get gowd and gear ; 

With you I ne er got nane." 

3 " Oh, I maun make it wide, Thomas, 

Oh, I maun mako it wide. 
If all your seven sons, and mine, 
Maun lye down by my side. 

4 " The first of your braw seven sons, 

He rides a milk-wliite steed ; 
Tlie second of your seven sons, 
He wears a milk-white weed ; 

5 " The third ane of your seven sons, 

He draws baith ale and wine ; 

The fourth ane of your seven sons, 

He serves you when you dinej 

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6 " The fifth ane of your seven sons, 

He can baith read and write ; 
And the sixth ane of your seven sons, 
He is all your heart's delight ; 

7 " The youngest of your seven sons, 

He sleeps on my breast-bane ; 
He soundly sleeps, and sweetly smiles. 
Nor heeds his mother's mane." 

8 " But wha will bake my bridal bread, 

Or brew my bridal ale ? 
And wha will welcome my brisk bride, 
That I bring o'er the dale ? " 

9 " It 's I will bake your bridal bread, 

And brew your bridal ale ; 
And I will welcome your brisk bride, 
That you bring o'er the dale." 

10 " But she that welcomes my brisk bride 

Maun gang like maiden fair ; 
She maun lace on her robe sae jimp, 
And braid her yellow hair." 

11 " But how can I gang maiden-like. 

When maid I ne'er can be ? 

Or I, the mother of seven sons. 

Look like a maiden free ? " 

Part II. 

12 She's dress'd her sons in the scarlet red, 

Herself in dainty green ; 
And tho' her cheeks look'd pale and wan, 
She well might been a queen. 

13 She 's ta'en her young son in her arms. 

Another in her hand ; 
And she 's up to the highest tower. 
To see him come to land. 

14 " Come up, come up, my eldest son. 

And look o'er yon sea-strand, 
And see your father's new-come bride 
Before she come to land." 

15 " Come down, come down, my mother dear. 

Come frae the castle wall ; 
I fear, if langer ye stand there, 
Ye'U let yoursel' down faU," 

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16 She ^s ta^en a cake of the best bread, 

A bottle of the best wine, 
And all the keys npon her arm, 
And to the shore hied syne. • 

17 She hied her down to the shore side. 

Her love's ship for to see ; 
The topmast and the mainmast baith, 
Shone like the silver free. 

18 She hied her down, and farther down, 

The bride's ship to behold; 
The topmast and the mainmast baith, 
They shone just like the gold. 

19 She 's ta*en her seven sons in her hand; 

I wot she didna fail I 
She met Lord Thomas and his bride, 
As they came o'er the dale. 

20 "You are welcome hame. Lord Thomas, 

And welcome to your land; 
You are welcome, with your fair ladyo, 
That you lead by the hand. 

21 " You are welcome to your halls, ladye. 

You are welcome to your bow'rs; 
You are welcome to your hame, ladye, 
For all that 's here is yours." 

22 "I thank thee, Annie," said the bride, 

" Sae dearlie I thank thee ; 

While I am ladye in this place, 

Your good friend I will be." 

Part m. 

23 Fair Annie served the first table 

With white bread and with wine; 
And aye she drank the wan water, 
To keep her colour fine. 

24 Fair Annie served the next table 

With brown bread and with beer; 
But aye she drank the wan water, 
To keep her colour clear. 

25 As she gaed by the first table. 

She leuch amang them all; 
But e'er she reach'd the next table, 
She let the tears down fall. 

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26 Fair Annie turned her round about, 

For fear she wou'd be seen; 
And aye she wiped the tears trickling 
Fast frae her watery een. 

27 Then she has ta^en a lang napkin, 

And hung it on a pin; 
And aye she wiped the tears trickling 
Adown her cheek and chin.* 

28 And aye Lord Thomas turned him round 

Ana smiled amang his men. 
Says — " Like ye best the old ladve, 
Or her that s new come hame if " 

29 When bells were rung and mass was sung, 

And all men bound to bed, 
Lord Thomas and his new-come brido 
To their chamber they gaed. 

30 Fair Annie ta'en her harp in hand, 

To harp the twa asleep; 
And as she harpM and as she sang, 
Full sorely she did weep.f 

31 " Oh, I have bom seven fair sons 

To the good lord of this place ; 

And I wish they were seven hares, 

That I might give them chase. 

32 " I wish that they were seven hares, 

Running o'er yon lily lee, 
And I a good greyhound ravsel' — 
Soon worried they should be." 

33 " Oh, I have bom seven fair sons 

To the good lord of this hall; 
I wish that they were seven rats, 

Running on the castle wall; 
And I were a gray cat mysel* — 

I soon wou'd worry them all." 

3i And wae and sad fair Annie sat, 
And drearie was her sang; 
And ever, as she sobb'd and grat, 
" Wae to him that did the wrangi " 

^'*IkwMtodx7herw»tai7 «yes 
Ab she gaed oat and Ixl" 

Jamieson'B VenioD, toL iL, p. S7L 
t *' She *B ta'en a han) into her hand, 
Went to their chamber door, 
And aye she harp'd and aye she mam'd. 
With the salt teara falling o'er." 

MotherweUa MinHreltv, P* 8Mb 

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35 " My gown is on," the new bride said, 

" My shoon are on my feet, 
And I will to fair Annie gang, 
And see what gars her greet. 

36 " What ails, what ails ye, fair Annie, 

That ye make sic a moan; 
Has your wine barrels cast the girds, 
Or is your white bread gone? 

37 ** I had a sister ance, Annie, 

By reivers stown away ; 
Father and mother baith for her 

Sair mourned many a day : 
A sister just like you, Annie, 

Then answer me, I pray. 

38 " And say wha was your father, Annie, 

And say wha was your mother? 
And had you any sister, Annie? 
Or had you any brother? " 

39 " The Earl of Wemyss was my father, 

The countess was my mother: 
And all the bairns beside mysel* 
"Were a sister and a brother." * 

* Moiberwell's yereion reads:— 

" ' King Henry was my father dear, 
Queen Esther was mv mother. 
Prince Henry was my brother dear, 
And Fanny flower my sister.* 

" * If King Henry was your father dear, 
And Qaeen Esther was your mother. 
If Prince Heniy was yoor brother dear, 
Then snrely rm your sister.* 

u > Come to yoor bed, my sister dear, 

It no'cr was wrang'd for me : 

But ae kiss of his merry mouth, 

Ab we came o*er the sea.* " 

The version given by Jamieson from Mrs. Arrot*a recitation names the relatives 
as "King Henry," "Queen Catherine,** "Frederick," land "Lady Anne," and states 
that the heroine as a child had been called " Mary mild." In the version from the 
recitation of Mrs. Brown, the father is styled "the Earl of Richmond," mother, 
sister, and brother being referred to, but not named. 

"The tradition which commonly accompanies this tale," as stated by Jamieson, 
"says that Lord Thomas was aware of his bride being the sister of his mistress, 
and that he had courted her, not with a view of retaining her as his wife, but of 
securing from her father a portion for fair Annie, whom he intended to marry." 

The stanza which follows the three quoted above, from Motherweire version, 
appears to favour this tradition. It reads — 

" Awa, awa, ye forenoon bride, 
Awa, awa f rae me ; 
I wadna hear my Annie greet, 
For a* the gold I got wi^thee." 

There is also % stonsa of a similar lenor in the version from Mrs. Brown's rodtatlon . 

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40 "If the Earl of Wemyss* was your father, 

I wot sae was he mine; 
And it shall not be for lack of gowd, 
That ye your love shall tyne. 

41 "Oh, seven ships conveyed me here, 

When I came o'er the faem; 
And four of them shall stay with you. 
And three convey me hame. 

42 "But when I reach our father's house, 

They may laugh me to scorn, 
That I shou'd leave a bride betroth'd, 
Gae hame a maid forlorn." 


Abridged from Buchan's Ancient Ballads and Songs, vol. i., 
p. 221. 

This ballad resembles, in some respects, both "Lord Thomas and 
Fair Annie," which immediately precedes, and "Lord Beichan," 
which immediately follows it 

1 Lady Maisrt lives intil a bower ; 

She never wore but what she wou'd ; 
Her gowns were of the silk sae fine, 
Her coats stood up with bolts of gowd. 

2 Mony a knight there courted her. 

And gentlemen of hi^h degree ; 
But it was Thomas o' Yonderdale 
That gained the love of this ladye. 

8 He haunted her intil her bow'r. 

He haunted her baith night and day; 
But when ho gain'd her virgin love. 
To an unco land he hied away. 

4 He hadna been on unco ground, 

A month, a month, but barely three, 
Till he has courted anither maid, 
And quite forgotten fair Maisry. 

* The family of Wemysa is, as stated by Slbbald, lineally descended from Macdnff, 
Earl of Fife, which statement of his seems to be borne oat by ancient charters; 
hut as the title of Earl of Wemyss was first conferred in 1633 on Sir John Wemyss, 
Lord Wemyss of Elcho, the ballad^ if it refers to one of that family at all, must refer 
to an ancestor of the Earl's. 

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5 But ae night as he lav in bed, 

A wae and dreary dream dream*d he, — 
That Maisry stood by his bed-side, 
Upbraiding him for perfidie. 

6 Then he called on his little boy, — 

" Bring me candle, that I may see ; 
And ^e maun quickly rin this night 
With a letter to a gay ladye." 

7 " It is my duty you to serve, 

To bring you coal and candle light; 
And fain wou'd I your errand rin, 
If *twere to Lady Maisry bright. 

8 "Tho' I were sae, I scarce cou'd gang; 

The night sae dark, I scarce cou'd see; 
I wou*d creep on my hands and knees 
With a message to her frae thee." 

9 "Win up, win up, my bonnie boy. 

To do my bidding ye blithe will be; 
To Maisry ye maun quickly rin. 
With this message to her frae me. 

10 "Yell bid her dress in gowns of silk, 

Likewise in coats of cramasie; 
YeUl bid her (Tome alang with you. 
Lord Thomas' weddmg for to see. 

11 "Ye'll bid her graith her steed with gowd, 

And ye will likewise bid her hing 
On ilka tip of her horse mane 
Twa siller bells to sweetly ring. 

12 "And on the tor of her saddle^ 

A courtly bird to sweetly smg; 
Her bridle reins of siller fine, 
And stirrups by her side to hing." 

13 She dress'd her in the finest silk, 

Her coats were of the cramasie; 
And she 's away to unco land, 
Lord Thomas' wedding for to see. 

14 At ilka tip of her horse mane 

Twa siller bells did sweetly ring; 
And on the tor of her saddle 
A courtiy bird did sweetly sing. 

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15 The bells they rang, the bird he sang, 

As they rade o'er a pleasant plain, 
Where they met with Lord Thomas' bride 
Wending on with her bridal train. 

16 The bride she tum'd her round about, — 

"I wonder much who this may be? 
It surely is the Scotish queen, 
Come here our wedding for to see." 

17 Out then spake Lord Thomas' boy, — 

" She maunna lift her head sae hie; 
But it *B Lord Thomas' first true love 
Come here your wedding for to see." 

18 Out then spake Lord Thomas' bride — 

I wyte the tear did blind her e'e, — 

"If this be Lord Thomas' first true love, 

I'm sair afraid he'll ne'er ha'e me." 

19 Then in came Lady Maisry fair, 

Loveljr and grand she did appear; 
"What 18 your will now, Lord Thomas, 
This day, ye know, ye call'd me here?'* 

20 "Come hither by me, ye lily flower, 

Come hither, and set ye down by me; 
Ye are the ane I've call d upon. 
And ye my wedded wife maun be." 

21 Then in it came Lord Thomas' bride, 

Primly and trimly in she came; 
" What IS your will now, Lord Thomas, 
This day, ye know, ye call'd me hame? " 

22 " Ye ha'e come on hired horseback, 

But ye'se gae hame in coach sae free; 
For here's the flower into my bower, 
I mean my wedded wife shall be." 

23 "Then ye maun part your lands, Thomas, 

And part them in divisions three ; 
Gi'e twa of them to your ae brother, 
And cause your brother marry me." 

21 " I winna part my lands," he said, 
** For ony woman that I see; 
My brother he is a landed knight, 
"will wed nane but he will lor me." 

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Versions of this highly popular and apparently ancient ballad 
have appeared as nnder : — 

I. " Young Beichan and Susie Pye.'* 
II. " Young Bekie." 

Both in Jamieson's Popular Ballads^ vol. ii., pp. 117 and 
127. Mr. Jamieson says that these ballads ''(both on the 
same subject) are given from copies taken from Mrs. 
Brown's recitation, collated with two other copies pro- 
cured from Scotland : one in MS. ; another very good one 
f)rinted for the stalls ; a third, in the possession of the 
ate Keverend Jonathan Boucher, of Epsom, taken from 
recitation in the North of England ; ana a fourth, about 
one-third as long as the others, which the editor picked 
off an old wall in Piccadilly." — Prefatory note, p. 117. 
in. Oug in ''Scarce AnclerUBaUadH, Peterhead, 1819." [Aber- 
deen, 1822?] 
IV. ** Lord Beichan and Susie Pye." — Kinloch's Ancient Scottish 

Ballads, p. 260. 
V. A portion of a version, consistin;; of "prose and rhyme 
intermixed," given from the recitation of **a story-teller," 
by Motherwell, Minstrelsy^ Introduction, p. xv. Stanza 
10 is derived from this source. 
VI. "Young Bondwell," in Scottish Traditional Versions of 
A ncient Ballads, Percy Society, vol. xvii., p. 1, and note, 
p. 82. 

This last and ** Young Bekie" (II.) are almost identical 
in incident. 
VII. " An English traditional version, communicated by" J. H. 
Dixon to Tfie Local Historian's Table Book, voL i., New- 
castle, 1842; and subsequently given in Andenl PoemSf 
Ballads, and Songs, Percy Society, voL xvii., p. 85. 
VIII. "Lord Bateman," the common English broadside, p. 95 
of the work last cited. Probably identical with or 
similar to the ballad picked off the " wall in Piccadilly " 
by Jamieson. 

There is also an edition of ' ' Lord Bateman," with comic illustrations, 
three additional verses, and notes of a burlesque character, by Qeorge 

The ballad which follows is collated cliieily from the versions 
numbered I. and FV., with the addition of two stanzas from recitation, 
from which source sundry emendations also are derived. In each of 
the two versions just specified the first line announces "London" 
as the birthplace of " Young Beichan." The first has the following 
curious anachronism :— 

'* And they have made him trail the wine, 
And npices on bis fair lK>die;" 

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although it is well known that the use of wine is forbidden by the 
Koran, and could therefore only be indulged in clandestinely. 

The origin of the ballad was first pointed out by Motherwell; 
whose elaborate account of it and its hero is as follows : — 

"This popular ballad, which is unquestionably an English produc- 
tion (or, at all events, of English origin), exists in many different 
8hai)es in Scotland It is of unquestionable antiquity; and the young 
Beichan, or Bekie, whose captivity, sufferings, and subsequent 
marriage with his deliverer, it records, is no less a personage than 
the fatiier of the celebrated Thomas A Becket. In Tlie Life of 
Thomas Becket, quoted in Warton*s History of English Poetry, vol. 
L, p. 19, occurs tnis notice : — 

*Ther waa Gilbert, Thomas fodir, nanio the trewe man and godc, 

He loved Qod and hoU cherche Retthe he >vitte onderstodo ; 

The cross to the holi cherche In his youth ho com, 

. . . anyd on Bychard that was his mon to Jerlcm come, 

Ther hy dede, here pylgrlmage in holi stedes faste, 

So that among Sarazyns hy wer nom at laate.* 

"When so nomed, it is probable that the Saracen lady fell in love 
with him. Gilbert Becket must have been a distinguished individual 
in his day. He appears to have been portgrave of London, a title 
now changed to that of mayor. See A Bri^ Chronicle qf the Success 
of Times, London, 1611, p. 574. That he ww a person of great 
estate, Langtoft bears witness:— 

'There was his chancelere, Thomas of London bom. 
Saint Thomas fader I fynd hJght Thomas (Gilbert) Bcket; 
In London of noble kynd and moste of alle was let, 
A riche man he was, mot spend thre hundreth pound.' 

— Langtoft's Chronicle, apud Heme, p. 128. 

'* Hollingshed, speaking of the saint, says: — 'This Becket was 
borne in I^ndon, his father hight Gilbert, but his mother was a 
Svrian bom, and by religion a Saracen.' To the same effect Baker :— 
*The man was Thomas Becket, born in London. His fiithcr, one 
OUbert Becket, — his mother an outlandish woman of the country of 
Syria^^ Fox, in his Acts and Monuments, vol. i., p. 267, London, 
1641, affords another notice: — 'And first hero to omit the procramo 
of him, and his mother named Rose, whom Polyd. Virgilius uilsely 
nameth to be a Saracen, when indeed she came out of the parts 
bordering neere to Normandy, &c.' Though she came from the 
quarter Fox says she came from, that did not prevent her from being a 
Swacen, — a designation as general then as heathen is at the present day. 

" These notices will afford evidence sufficient to warrant us referring 
the ballad to the individual now pointed out. An inspection of some 
of the numerous legends touching the blessed martyr. Saint Thomas 
of Canterbury, will probably supply many other interesting par- 
ticulars, tending more completely to connect and identify them." 
—Motherwell's Mijistrelsy, Introduction, note, p. xv. 

Professor Child corroborates MotherweH's o])inion, and states, that 
" an inspection of the first hundred lines of Robert of Gloucester's 
Life and Martyrdom qf Thomas Bcket (edited for the Percy Society 

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by W. H. Black, vol, six.) will leave no doubt tbat tbe hero of this 
ancient and beautiful tale is veritably Gilbert Becket, lather of the 
renowned Saint Thomas of Canterbury. 

"Robert of Gloucester's story coincides in all essential particulars 
with the traditionary legend ; but Susie Pve is unfortunately spoken 
of in the chronicle by no other name than the daughter of the Saracen 
Prince Admiraud."— Professor Child's Englieh and Scottish BaUade^ 
vol. iv., p. 1. 

After such convincing statements from two such reliable autho- 
rities, it is scarcely necessary to notice the sug^tion made to 
and noted by Jamieson, '*that the names in" im& and the "suc- 
ceeding romantic tales ought to be, not Beichan [or Bekie], but 
Buchan" {Popular Ballads, voL ii., p. 134) ; or the more recent 
theory of the editor or annotator of Scottish TraditioncU Versions of 
Ancient Ballads (Percy Society, No. Iviii), who surmises '* that the 
hero was one of the ancient and noble border fiunily of Bartram or 
Bertram" (note to "Young Bondwell," p. 84). 

1 Lord Beichan was a noble lord, 

A noble loi'd of high degree; 
Ho placed himself on good shipboard, 
Ajid Bail'd away o'er the salt, salt sea. 

2 He sail'd far south, ho saiPd far east, 

Until he passed all Christendie ; 
He saird far south, he saiPd far east, 
Until he came to Pagandie. 

3 He view'd the fashions of that land, 

Their way of worship too viewed ho ; 
But to Mahound or Termagant, 
Lord Beichan wou'd not bend a knee. 

4 For Beichan was a Christian born, 

And such resolved to live and dec, 
So he was ta'en by a savage Moor, 
Who treated him right cruellie. 

5 In ilka shoulder was put a bore, 

In ilka bore was put a tree ; 
And heavy loads they made him draw, 
Till he was sick, and like to dee.* 

6 Then he was cast in a dungeon deep. 

Where he cou'd neither hear nor see; 
And seven long years they kept him there, 
Both cold and hunger sore to dree. 

• »»TU1 of hia Ufo he iras quite weftrle."-For<a«(»i. 

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7 The Moor he had an only daughter, 

The damsePs name was Susie Pye ; 
And ilka day as she took the air, 
Lord Beichan's prison she passed by. 

8 So it fell out upon a day, 

She heard Lord Beichan sadly sing; 
And this the sad and hopeless lay 
Of sorrow in her ear did ring : 

9 " My hounds they all go masterless, 

My hawks they flee from tree to tree, 
My younger brother heirs my land ; 
Fair England again I ne'er will see. 

10 " But were I free as I have been, 

On good shipboard to sail the sea, 
I'd turn my face to fair England, 
And sail no more to a strange countrie." 

11 Young Susie Pye had a tender heart, 

Tho' she was come of a cruel kin; 
And sore she sigh'd, she knew not why, 
For him who lay that dungeon in. 

12 " Oh, were I but the prison keeper, 

As I'm a lady of high degree, 
I soon wou'd set this youth at large, 
And send him to his own countrie." 

13 The whole night long no rest she got. 

Lord Beichan's song for thinking on; 
And when the mom began to dawn, 
She to his prison door has gone. 

14 She gave the keeper a piece of gold, 

And many pieces of white monie, 
To unlock to her the prison doors. 
That she Lord Beichan might go see. 

15 The keeper open'd the prison doors, 

I wot he open'd two or three, 
Ere they came where Lord Beichan stood, 
Chain'd by the middle to a tree. 

IG Lord Beichan he did marvel sore. 

The Moor's fair daughter there to see ; 
But took her for some captive maid, 
Brought from some land in Christendle. 

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17 For when she saw his wretched plight, 

Her tears fell fast and bitterlie ; 
And thus the Moor^s fair daughter spake 
Unto Lord Beichan tenderlie : 

18 " Oh, have ve any lands," she said, 

" Or castles in your own countrio. 
That ye cou'd give to a lady fair. 
From prison strong to set you free?" 

19 ''Oh, I have lands both fair and braid, 

And I have castles fair to see ; 
But I wou'd give them all," he said, 
" From prison strong to be set free." 

20 " Plight me the truth of your right hand, 

The truth of it here plight to me. 
That till seven years are past and gone, 
No lady ye will wed but me." 

21 " For seven long years I do make a vow, 

And seven long years I'll keefp it true, 
If you wed with no other man, 
No other lady Til wed but you." 

22 Then she has bribed the prison-keeper, 

With store of gold and white monie, 
To loose the chain that bound him so. 
And set Lord Beichan once more free. 

23 To eat she gave him good spice-cake, 

To drink she gave him blood-red wine ; 
And bade him sometimes think of her, 
Who kindly freed him out of pine. 

24 A ring she from her finger broke. 

And half of it to him gave she, — 

" Keep it, to mind you of the maid 

Who out of prison set you free," 

25 She had him put on good shipboard, 

That he might safely cross the main; 
Then said, "Adieu! my Christian lord, 
I fear we ne'er may meet again." 

26 Lord Beichan tum'd him round about, 

And lowly, lowly bent his knee; 
" Ere seven years are come and gone, 
I'll take you to my own countrie," 

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27 But when he came to London town, 

A happy, happy man was ho; 
The ladies all aromid him throngM, 
To see him come frae slaverie. 

28 His mother she had died of grief, 

His kindred all were dead but he ; 
His lands they all were lying waste, 
In ruins were his castles free. 

29 No porter stood to tend his gate, 

No human creature cou'd ho see; 
Nought but the screeching owls and bats, 
Had he to bear him companie. 

30 But gold works like a magic spell, 

And he had gold and jewels free ; 
So soon his halls were richly deckM, 
While pages served on bended knee. 

81 Both lords and ladies throng'd his halls, 
His table rang with mirth and glee ; 
And he soon forgot the eastern maid, 
Who freed him out of slaverie. 

32 But Susie Pye cou'd get no rest. 

Nor day nor night cou'd happy be; 
For something whisper'd in her breast, 
" Lord Beidian will prove false to thee." 

33 So she set foot on good shipboard, 

Well mann'd and fitted gallantlie ; 

She bade adieu to her father's towers. 

And left behind her own countrio. 

3:1 Then she sailed west, and she sailed north. 
She sailed far o'er the salt sea facm ; 
And after many weary days, 
Unto fair England's shore she came. 

35 She landed there in wealth and state. 

And journey 'd with a gallant train. 
Till she met with a shepherd youth. 
When thus she did accost the swam : 

36 " Oh, whose are all those flocks of sheep, 

And whose are all those herds of kye. 
And whose are all those lands so braid. 
With many more that I've pass'd by ? " 

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87 ^^ Oh, those are all Lord Beichan^s sheep, 
Oh, those are all Lord Beichan's kye, 
And those are all Lord Beicban^s lands, 
And many more that you've passed by." 

38 " What news of him. thou shepherd youth, 

What news hast tnou to tell to me?" 
" Such news, such news, thou lady fair, 
Was ne^er before in this countrie. 

39 " For he has betroth'd a lady ffay, 

'Tis now full thirty days and three; 
But will not mate with his fair bride. 
For love of one beyond the sea." 

40 Then in her pocket she put her hand, 

And gave him gold and white monio; 
" Here, take ye that, my shepherd youth, 
For the good news ye tell to me." 

41 Then she went to Lord Beichan^s gate, 

And she tirPd gently at the pin. 
And ask'd — " Is this Lord Beichan's hall, 
And is that noble lord within?" 

42 The porter ready answer made, — 

^< Oh yes, this is Lord Beichan's hall; 
And he is also here within. 
With bride and guests assembled all." 

43 " And has he betroth'd another love. 

And has he quite forgotten me, 
To whom he pRghted his love and troth, 
When from prison I did him free ? 

44 " Bear to your lord, ye proud porter, 

This parted ring, the plighted token 
Of mutual love, and mutual vows, 
By him, alas I now falsely broken. 

45 " And bid him send one bit of bread. 

And bid him send one cup of wine. 
Unto the maid he hath botray'd, 
Tho* she freed him from cruel pine." 

4G The porter hasten'd to his lord, 

And fell down on his bended knee : 
*^ Mv lord, a lady stands at your gate, 
The fairest lady I o'er did see. 

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47 "On every finger she has a ring, 

And on her middle finger three ; 
With as much gold above her brow- 
As wou'd buy an earldom to me/' 

48 It 's out then spake the bride's mother, 

Both loud and angry out spake she, — 
" Ye might have excepted our bonnie bride, 
If not more of this companie." 

40 " My dame, your daughter's fair enough, 
aer beauty 's not denied by me; 
But were she ten times fairer still, 
With this lady ne'er compare cou'd she. 

50 " My lord, she aska one bit of bread, 

And bids you send one cup of wine ; 
And to remember the lady's love. 
Who freed you out of cruel pine." 

51 Lord Beichan hied him down the stair, — 

Of fifteen steps he made but three. 
Until he came to Susie Pye, 
Whom he did kiss most tcndorlie. 

52 He 's ta*en her by the lily hand, 

And led her to his noble hall. 
Where stood his sore-bewilder'd bride, 
And wedding guests assembled all. 

53 Fair Susie blushing look'd around. 

Upon the lords and ladies gay ; 
Then with the tear-drops in her eyes. 
Unto Lord Beichan she did say : 

54 " Oh, have ye ta'en another bride. 

And broke your plighted vows to mo? 
Then fare thee well, my Christian lord, 
I'll try to think no more on thee. 

65 " But sadlv I will wend my way. 

And sadly I will cross the sea. 

And sadly will with grief and shame 

Betum unto my own countrie." 

66 "Oh, never, never, Susie Pye, 

Oh, never more shall you leave me; 
This night you'll be my wedded wife, 
And lady of my lands so free." 

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67 Syne up then spake the bride's mother, 
She ne*er before did speak so free, — 
" You'll not forsake my dear daughter, 
For sake of her from Pagandie." 

58 " Take home, take home your daughter dear, 

She 's not a pin the worse of me ; 
She came to me on horseback riding. 
But shall go back in a coach and three.'' 

59 Lord Beichan got ready another wedding, 

And sang, with heart brimful of glee, — 
" Oh, ril range no more in foreign lands, 
Since Susie Pye has cross'd the sea. 

60 " Then fy,* gar all my cooks make ready, 

And fy! gar all my minstrels play; 

Gar trumpets sound, and bells be rung, 

For this is my true wedding-day,'* 


From Jamieson's Popular Ballads^ vol. ii, p. 127. With the 
addition of stanzas 4^ 25 (first half), 26, 27, and 40 to 43 inclusive, 
firom "Young Bondwell," but somewhat altered, so as to adapt them 
to Jamieson's ballad. See introduction to preceding ballad, p. 112. 

1 Young Beeie was as brave a knight 

As ever sail'd the sea; 
And he 's done him to the court of France, 
To serve for meat and fee. 

2 He hadna been in the court of France 

A twelvemonth, nor sae lang. 
Till he fell in love with the king's daughter, 
And was thrown in prison Strang. 

3 The king he had but ae daughter, 

Burd Isbel was her name ; 
And she has to the prison gane, 
To hear the prisoner's mane. 

4 "Oh, if my father get word of this, 

At hame, in his ain countrie, 
He will send red gowd for my relief, 
And a bag of \vhite monie. 

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5 "Ob, if a lady wou'd borrow me, 

At her stirrup I wou'd rin; 
Ob, if a widow wou'd borrow me, 
I wou'd swear to be her son. 

6 "Oh, if a virgin wou'd borrow me, 

I wou'd wed her with a ring; 
rd gi'e her halls, I'd gi*e her bow'rs. 
The bonnie towers of Linne." 

7 Ob, barefoot, barefoot gaed she but. 

And barefoot came she ben; 
It was na for want of hose and shoon, 
Nor time to put them on ; 

8 But all for fear that her father 

Wou'd hear her makin' din ; 
For she has stown the prison keys, 
And gane the dungeon in. 

9 And when she saw him, young Bekie, 

Wow, but her heart was sair! 
For the mice but and the bauld rattona 
Had eaten his yellow hair. 

10 She 's gotten him a shaver for his beard, 

A comber till his hair; 
Five hundred pounds in his pocket, 
To spend, and nae to spare. 

11 She 's gi'en him a steed was good in need, 

And a saddle of royal bane; * 
A leash of hounds of ae litter. 
And Hector called ane. 

12 At ween thir twa a vow was made, 

'Twas made full solemnlie, 
That or three years were come and gane, 
Weel married they shou'd be. 

13 He hadna been in *s ain countrie 

A twelvemonth till an end, 
Till he 's forced to marry a kmg's daughter, 
Or else lose all his land. 

14 " Ohon, alas ! " says young Bekie, 

" I kenna what to dee ; 
For I canna win to Burd Isbel, 
And she canna come to me." 

• Variattim: for "bano," read "bond.**— ."Young BondwoD." 

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15 Oil, it fell out upon a day 
Burd label fell asleep, 
And up it starts the Billy Blin, 
And stood at her bed feet. 

IG " Oh, waken, waken, Burd label ; 
How can ye sleep so soun', 
When this is Bekie's wedding-day, 
And the marriage going on? * 

17 "Ye'U do ye till your mither's bow'r, 

As faat as ye can gang; 
And ye'll take three of your mither's Marys, 
To baud ye unthocht lang. 

18 "Ye'll dress yoursel' in the red scarlet, 

And vour Marys in green attire; 
And ye 11 put girdles about your middles, 
Well worth an earl's hire. 

19 " Syne ye'll gang down by yon sea-side. 

And down by yon sea-strand ; 
And bonnie will the HoUans boats 
Come rowin' till your hand. 

'20 " Ye'll set your milk-white foot on board, 
Cry, * Hail ye, Domine I ' 
And I will be the steerer o't, 
To row you o'er the sea." 

21 She 's gane her till her mither's bow'r, 
As fast as she could gang ; 
And she 's ta'on twa of her mither's Marys, 
To baud her unthocht lang. 

12 She 's drest hersel* in the red scarlet, 
Her Marys in green attire ; 
And they've put girdles about their middles, 
Well worth an earl's hire. 

23 And they gaed down by yon sea-side, 

And down by yon sea-strand; 
And sae bonnie as the Hollans boats 
Came rowin' till their hand. 

24 She set her milk-white foot on board. 

Cried, " Hailye, Domine ! " 
And the Billy Blin was the steerer o't, 
To row her o'er the sea. 

* The countries could not be far apart, or the fair Isbel and her Marya mufit hftye 
Had a marreUouriy quick passage under the pilotage of ** tlie Billy BUa." 

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25 So they BaiPd on, and farther on, 
Till they came to the Tay; 
And when she came to Bekie^s gate, 
She heard the music play. 

2G Wlien the porter came to her call, — 
"What news ha'e ye ? " says she ; 
"Is there any wedding in this place, 
Or any soon to be?" 

27 " There is a wedding in this place, 

A wedding very soon ; 
For Bekie, lord of this domain, 
Carries this day ere noon." 

28 She put her hand in her pocket. 

And ga*e to him marks three; 
" Hae, take ye that, ye proud porter, 
Bid your master speak to me." 

29 Oh, when that he came up the stair. 

He fell down on his knee : 
lie haird the king, and he haiVd the queen, 
And he hail'd young Bekie. 

30 " Oh, I have been porter at your gates 

This thirty years and three; 
But there are three ladies at them now, 
Their like I did never see. 

31 " There *b ane of them drest in red scarlet, 

And twa in green attire ; 
And they ha'e girdles about their middles 
Well worth an earPs hire." 

32 Then out and spake the bierdly bride, 

Was all gowd to the chin ; 
" If she be fine without," she says, 
" We 's be as fine within." 

33 Then up it starts him young Bekie, 

And the tear was in his e'e: 
" I'll lay my life it 's Burd Isbel 
Come o'er the sea to me." 

84 Oh, quickly he ran down the stair; 
And when he saw 'twas she. 
He kindly took her in his arms, 
And kiss'd her tenderlie. 

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35 "01), ha'o ye forgotten now, young Bekie, 

The vow ye made to me, 
When I took you out of prison Btrang, 
When ye was condemned to dee ? 

36 "I ga'e you a steed was good in need, 

And a saddle of ro^al bane ; 
A leash of bounds of ae litter, 
And Hector called ane/' 

37 It was well kenn'd what the lady said 

Was true as true cou*d be ; 
For at the first word the lady spake, 
The hound fell at her knee. 

38 " Take hame, take hame your daughter dear ; 

A blessing gang her wi*; 
For I maun marry her wha has 
Come o'er the sea to me." 

30 *' Is this the custom of your house, 
Or when was it brought in, 
To bring a maid here to be wed. 
To gae back a maid at e'en?" 

40 " An asking, an asking, fair lad}'-, 

If such ye'll grant to me ; " — 
" Ask on, ask on, my young Bekie ; 
What may your asking be? " 

41 " Five bunder pound to you I'll gi'e, 

Of gowd ana white monie, 
If ye'Il wed John, ray ain cousin, — 
He looks as braw as mel" 

42 '^ Keep well your monie, Bekie," she said, 

" Nane do I ask of thee; 
Your cousin John was my first love, 
My husband now he 's be." 

43 Yollng Bekie was married to Burd Isbel, 

And John, ere day was dune. 
Was married to the morning bride, 
In the merry halls of Linne. 

The king and queen, who were <brcini< "Young Bekie" to wed 
their daughter, suddenly subside, and without either note, comment, 
or protest permit this interesting young couple to follow the bent of 
their respective inclinations. 

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"An imperfect copy of this very old ballad appeared in SeleH 
Scottish Songs, Ancient and Modem, edited by Mr. Cromek; bnt 
that gentleman seems not to have been aware of the jewel he had 
picked up, as it is passed over without a single remarL We have 
been fortunate enough to recover two copies m)m recitation, which, 
joined to the stanzas preserved by Mr. Cromek, have enabled us to 
present it to the public in its present complete state. Though 
'Hynd Horn' possesses no claims upon the reader's attention on 
account of its poetry, yet it is highly valuable, as illustrative of the 
histoiy of Romantic Ballad. In &ct, it is nothing else than a portion 
of the ancient English Metrical Romance of 'Kyng Horn,' which 
some benevolent pen, peradventure * for luf of the lewed man,* hath 
stripped of its * quainto Inglis,' and given — 

* In symplo 8p«clie as ho coothe* 
That is lightest in manno's mouthe.' 

Of this the reader will be at once convinced, if he compares it with 
the Romance alluded to, or rather with the fragment of the one pre- 
served in the Auchinleck MS., entitled, 'Home Childe and Maiden 
Riminild,' both of which ancient poems are to be found in Ritson's 
Metrical Romances. 

" It is perhaps unnecessary to remind the reader that Hend, or 
Hynd, means 'courteous, kmd, affable,' &c., an epithet which, we 
doubt not, the hero of the ballad was fully entitled to assume." — 
Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 35. 

The opening stanza of Motherwell's version is as follows :— 

^ Near Edinburp^h was a yonng child bora, 
With a tuy-ltUe-lu^ and a hoio-Jo-lan ; 
And hlfl name it was called Young Hynd Horn, 
And the birk and the brume Noomt Imnie." 

The refrain, as given in italics, forms the second and fourth lines of 
eveiy stanza»— a £rm by no means rare in Scotish, and very common 
in Scandinavian ballads. 

Versions omitting the refrain were subsequently published by 
Kinloch, in Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 135, as ''recovered from 
recitation in the Korth;'* and by Buchan, Ancient Ballads and Songs, 
voL ii, p. 268. 

" All the poems relating to Horn, in French and English, including 
the Scottish ballads above mentioned, are collected by Midid in a 
beautifril volume of the Bannatyne Club, Horn et RlmenhUd, Paris, 
1845."— Professor ChUd, English and Scottish Ballads, vol. iv., p. 17. 

Kinloch's and Buchan's version are very similar. In &ct> the latter 
appears to be simply a more perfect copy of the former, and it is the 
one here chiefly used, with aaditions and emendations from Mother- 
well's, and editorial emendations on both. 

The metrical romance of "King Horn," or "Home Childe, and 
Maiden Rymenild," is thus sumnumzed by Warton;— 

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''Mury, king of the Saracens, lands in the kingdom of Suddene, 
where he kills the king named Allo£ The (^neen, Godylt^ escapes ; 
but Mury seizes on her son Home, a beautiful youth, aged fifteen 
years, and puts him into a galley with two of his play-fellows, 
Athtdph and Fykenyld: the vessel beiug driven on the kingdom of 
Westnesse, the young prince is found by Aylmer, king of that 
country, brought to court, and delivered to Athelbras his steward, to 
be educated in hawking, harping, tilting, and other courtljr accom- 

SUshments. Here the Princess Rymemld fhUs in love with hini, 
eclares her passion, and is betrothed. Home, in consequence of this 
engagement, leaves the princess for seven years— to demonstrate, 
according to the ritual of chivalry, that by seeking and accomplishing 
dangerous enterprises he deserved her affection. He proves a most 
valorous and invmcible knight ; and at the end of seven years, having 
killed King Mury, recovered his father's kingdom, and achieved 
many signal exploits, recovers the Princess Eymenild from the 
hands' of his treacherous knight and companion, Fykenyld, carries 
her in triumph to his own country, and there reigns with her in great 
splendour and prosperity." — History of English Poetrtfy vol. i., p. 40. 
The ballad, even in its fragmentary and ''mutilated state, still 
retains the couplet measure of the romance, though it is otherwise 
greatly altered from its ancient text. It appears, nowever, to relate 
to that part of the romance where Home, after being betrothed to 
the princess, departs in search of adventures, and returns, after the 
lapse of his probationary exile, when he recovers the princess from 
the hands of nis rivid."— Kinloch's Ancient Scottish BaUads, p. 137. 

1 " Oh, it 's Hynde Horn fair, and it 's Hynde Horn free; 
Oh, where were you bom, and in what countrie?" 

" In a far distant countrie I was born ; 

But of home and friends I am quite forlorn." 

2 Oh, it's seven long years he served the king, 
But wages from him he ne'er got a thing; 
Oh, it's seven long years he served, I ween, 
And all for love of the king's daughter Jean, 

3 Oh, he gave to his love a silver wand, 
Her sceptre of rule over fair Scotland; 
With three singing laverocks set thereon, 
For to mind her of him when he was gone. 

4 And his love ^ave to him a gay gold ring, 
With three shming diamonds set therein; 
Oh, his love gave to him this gay gold ring, 
Of virtue and value above all thing; 

6 Saying — " While the diamonds do keep their hue, 
Tou will know that my love holds fast and true ; 
But when the diamonds grow pale and wan, 
I'll be dead, or wed to another man." 

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hynde nonN. 127 

6 Then the sails were spread, and away saiPd he; 
Ob, he saiPd away to a far countrie ; 

And when he had been seven years to sea, 
Hynde Horn look'd to see how his ring might be. 

7 But when Hvnde Horn look'd the diamonds upon, 
Oh, Jie saw tnat they were both pale and wan ; 
And at once he knew, from their altered hue, 
That his love was dead or had proved untrue. 

8 Oh, the sails were spread, and away sail'd he 
Back over the sea to his own countrie; 
Then he left the ship when it came to land, 
And he met an auld beggar upon the strand. 

9 "What news, thou auld beggar man? " said he; 
" For full seven years I've been over the sea.*' 
Then the auld man said — "The strangest of all 
Is the curious wedding in our king's hall. 

10 " For there 's a king's daughter, come frae the wast. 
Has been married to him these nine days past; 

But to the bride-bed the bride winna jee, 
For love of Hynde Horn, far over the sea." 

11 "Now, auld man, give to me your begging weed, 
And I will give to thee my riding steed ; 

And, auld man, give to me your staff of tree, 
And my scarlet cloak I will give to thee. 

12 " And you must teach me the auld beggar's role. 
As he ^oes his rounds, and receives his dole." 
The auid man he did as young Hynde Horn said, 
And taught him the way to beg for his bread. 

13 Then Hynde Horn bent him to his staff of tree, 
And to the king's palace away hobbled he ; 
And when he arrived at the Icing's palace gate, 
To the porter he thus his petition did state : 

14 " Good porter, I pray, for Saints Peter and Paul, 
And for sake of the Saviour who died for us all. 
For one cup of wine, and one bit of bread. 

To an auld man with travel and hunger bestead. 

15 " And ask the fair bride, for the sake of Hynde Home, 
To hand them to one so sadly forlorn." 

Then the porter for pity the message convey'd. 
And told the fair bride all the beggar man said. 

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16 And when she did hear it, she tripp'd down the stair, 
And in her fair hands did lovingly bear 

A cup of red wine, and a farle of cake, 

To give the old man, for loved Hynde Horn's sake. 

17 And when she came to where Hynde Horn did stand, 
With joy he did take the cup from her hand ; 

Then pledged the fair bride, the cup out did drain, 
Dropp d in it the ring, and returned it again. 

18 ** Oh, found you that ring by sea or on land, 
Or got you that ring off a dead man's hand?" 
'* Oh, I found not that ring by sea or on land. 
But I got that ring from a faur lady's hand. 

19 " As a pledge of true love she gave it to me. 
Full seven years ago, arfl sail'd o'er the sea; 

But now that the diamonds are chong'd in their hue, 
I know that my love has to me proved untrue." 

20 " Oh, I will cast off my gay costly gown. 
And follow thee on from town unto town, 
And I will take the gold combs from mv hair, 
And follow my true love for ever mair." 

21 " You need not cast off your gay costly gown, 
To follow me on from town unto town; 

You need not take the gold combs from your hair, 
For Hynde Horn has gold enough, and to spare." 

22 He stood up erect, let his beggar weed fall. 
And shone there the foremost and noblest of all; 

Then the bridegrooms were chanff'd, and the lady re-wed. 
To Hynde Horn thus come back, like one from the dead. 


From Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol. iii., p. 220; in which 
work it was first published. 

" This ballad," says Sir Walter Scott, '' has been popular in many 
parts of Scotland. It is chiefly given from Mrs. Brown of Falkland's 
MSS. The expression, 

'The boy stared wild like a gray g08>liawk, 
verse 31, strongly resembles that in Hardyknate, 

* Norse e'en like gray gos-hawk stared wild ;' 
a circumstance which led the editor to make the strictest inquiry into 

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the authenticity of the song. But every doubt was removed by the 
evidence of a lady of high rank, who not only recollected the ballad, 
as having amused her infimcy, but could repeat many of the verses, 
particularlv those beautiful stanzas from the 20th to the 25th. The 
editor is therefore compelled to believe that the author of ' Hardvk- 
nute ' copied the old ballad, if the coincidence be not altogether 

" The King Easter and King Wester of the ballad were probably petty 
princes of Northumberland and Westmoreland. In tne ComptayiU 
of Scotland, an ancient romance is mentioned under the titie, * How 
the King of Estmureland married the King's Daughter of Westmure- 
land,' wnich may possibly be the original of the beautifiQ legend of 
* King Estmere,* in the Reliquea of Ancient English Poetry, voL i., 
p. 62, 4th edit From this it may be conjectured, with some degree of 
plausibility, that the independent kingdoms of the east and west 
coast were, at an early period, thus denominated, according to the 
Saxon mode of naming districts from their relative positions, as Essex, 
Wessex, Sussex. But the geography of the metrical romances sets all 
qrstem at defiance ; and, in some of these, as * Clariodus and Meliades,' 
Estmureland undoubtedly signifies the land of the Easterlings, or the 
Flemish provinces at which vessels arrive in three days from England, 
and to which they are represented as exporting wooU' — Minstrelsy of 
the Scottish Border, first edition. 

In the next and subsequent editions of the same work, Sir Walter 
adds: — ** On this subject I have, since publication of the first edition, 
been fiivoured with the following remarks by Mr. Bitson, in opposition 
to the opinion above expressed : — 

*' 'Estmureland and Westmureland have no sort of relation to 
Northimiberland and Westmoreland. The former was never called 
Eastmoreland, nor were there ever any kings of Westmoreland ; 
unless we admit the authority of an old rhyme, cited by Usher :— 

*' Here the King WestmGr 
Slow the King Bothinger.*' 

« < There is, likewise, a '* King Estmere of Spain," in one of Percy^s 

** * In the old metrical romance of "KyngHom," or "Horn Child,'* 
we find both Westnesse and Eatnesse ; and it is somewhat singular, that 
two i>laces, so called, actually exist in Yorkshire at this day. But 
ness, in that quarter, is the name given to an inlet from a river. 
There is, however, great confusion in this poem, as Horn is called king 
sometimes of one country, and sometimes of the other. In the French 
original, Westir is said to have been the old name of Hirland or Ire- 
lana ; which occasionally, at least, is called Westnesse, in the trans- 
lation, in which Britam is named Sndene; but here, again, it is 
inconsistent and confused. 

'* ' It is, at any rate, highly probable, that the story, cited in the 
Complaynt qf Scotland, was a romance of ** King Horn," whether prose 
or verse; and, consequently, that Estmureland and Westmureland 
should there mean England and Ireland ; though it is possible that no 
other instance can be found of these two names occurring with the 
same sense.' " 

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''Without erpresaing any ojiinion on this oontroyerted point,'' Bsyi 
Mr. Motherwell, "I may mention that I ha^e a copy of thu ballad, in 
which the parties inter^ted are styled— 

' The EMtmnre king, and the Westmoro king, 
And the king of Norie;' 

certainly a very near approximation to the names contained in the 
above tale " (Introduction, pp. lis. and Ixxziii, note 91). And in 
])refatory note, p. 131, he states:— "The ballad is popular in Scotland, 
and there can be no reasonable doubt of its authenticity. like 
others, however, it has lost none of its beauties by being distilled 
through the alembic established at Abbotsford for the porificatiou 
of ancient song." 

1 Ema Easter wooed her for her lands, 

King Wester for her fee. 
King Honour for her comely face, 
And for her fair bodie. 

2 But they had not been four months we^l, 

Ab IVe heard often tell, 

Until the nobles of the land 

Against them did rebel. 

3 And they cast kevils * them amang, 

And kevils them between ; 
And they cast kevils them amang, 
Wha sbou'd gao kill the King. 

4 Ob, some said Tea, and some said Nay, 

Their words did not agree; 
Till up and got him Fause Foodrage, 
Ana swore it shou'd be he. 

6 When bells were rung, and mass was sung, 
And all men bound to bed, 
King Honour and his gay ladye 
In ae chamber were laid. 

6 Then up and raise him Fause Foodrage, 

When all were fast asleep. 
And slew the porter in his lodge. 
That watch and ward did keep, 

7 Oh, four-and-twenty silver keys 

Hang hie upon a pin • 
And as each door he did unlock. 
He fastened it behin\ 

* '* Kevils : ** Iot& Both words originally meant onlv a portion or share of ftiiy- 
thhig.— X<0ei Burfforum, cap. A9, de lot» cnt^ or karll. Siaivta Oilda, cap. 90. Ifullut 
emat lanam^ Ac^ niti futrit confrater Oildse^ Ac Neque lot neque caril habeat cum 
aliquo eon^atre fW9(r9. In both these laws, lot and cayil signify a share In trade. 

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8 Then up and raise him King Honour, 

Says — " What means all this din ? 
Or what's the matter, Fause Foodrage? 
Or wha has loot you in ?" 

9 " Oh, ye my errand weel shall learn, 

Before that I depart ; " 
Then drew a knife, baith lang and sharp, 
And pierced him to the heart. 

10 Then up and got the Queen hersel*, 

And fell low on her knee ; 
" Oh, spare my life now, Fause Foodrage ! 
For I ne'er injured thee. 

11 " Oh, spare my life now, Fause Foodrage 1 

Until I lighter bo ; 
And see if it be lad or lass, 
King Honour 's left me wi\" 

12 ** Oh, if it be a lass," he says, 

" It 's weel nursed it shall bo ; 
But if it be a lad bairn, 
It 's he shall be hang'd hie. 

13 "I winna spare for his tender ago, 

Nor yet for his hie kin ; 
But soon as ever he bom is, 
He'll mount the gallows pin." 

14 Oh, four-and- twenty valiant knights 

Were set the Queen to guard : 
And four stood aye at her bow'r door, 
To keep both watch and ward. 

15 But when the time drew near an end 

That she shou'd lighter be. 
She cast about to find a wile 
To set her body free. 

16 Oh, she has birled these merry young men 

With the ale but and the wine, 
Until they were all deadly drunk 
As any wild- wood swine. 

17 " Oh, narrow, narrow is this window, 

And big, big am I grown !" 
Yet through the might of Our Ladye, 
Out at it she is gone. 

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18 She wander'd up, she wander'd down, 

She wandered out and in ; 
And at last, into the very swine's stythe, 
The Queen brought forth a son. 

19 Then they cast kevils them amang, 

Which shou'd gae seek the Queen; 
And the kevil fell upon Wise William, 
And he sent his wife for him. 

20 Oh, when she saw Wise William's wife, 

The Queen fell on her knee : 
" Win up, win up, madam ! " she says ; 
" Wliat needs this courtesie?" 

21 " Oh, out of this I winna rise. 

Till this boon ye grant me, — 
To change your lass for this lad bairn, 
King Honour left me wi\ 

22 ** And ye maun learn my gay gos-hawk 

Right weel to breast a steed ; 
And I shall learn your turtle dow * 
As weel to write and read. 

23 " And ye maun learn my gay gos-hawk 

To wield both bow and brand ; 

And I shall learn your turtle dow 

To lay gowdf with her hand. 

24 " At kirk and market, when we meet, 

We'll dare make nae avowo. 
But — ^Dame, how does my gay gos-hawk?' { 
* Madam, how does my dow ? '", 

25 When days were gane and years came on, 

Wise William he thought lang; 
And he has ta'en King Honour's son 
A-hunting for to gang. 

2G It sae fell out, at this hunting, 
Upon a simmer's day, 
That they came by a fair castell, 
Stood on a sunny brae. 

27 " Oh, dinna ye see that bonnie castell, 
With halls and tow'rs sae fair? 
If ilka man had back his ain, 
Of it you shou'd be heir." 

• " Dow : " dove. f " Lay gowd : " embroider in gold. 

% Tliifl metaphorical langua^ was cuBtovftry among Uie northern Dftttons, 

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EAKL iuch^vbd's daughteb. 133 

28 " How I shou'd be heir of that castell, 

In 800th) I canna see; 
For it belangs to Fause Foodrage, 
And he is nae kin to me." 

29 " Oh, if you shou'd kill him, Fause Foodrage, 

You wou'd do but what was right; 
For I wot he kill'd your father dear, 
Or ever ye saw the light. 

30 " And if ye shou'd kill him, Fause Foodrage, 

There 's no man durst you blame; 
For ho keeps your mother a prisoner, 
And she darena take ye hame." 

31 The boy stared wild like a gray gos-hawk; 

Says — " What may all this mean?" 
" My boy, ye are King Honour's son. 
Your mother our lawful Queen." 

32 " Oh, if I be King Honour's son, 

By Our Ladye I swear, 
Tliis night I will that traitor slay, 
And tree my mother dear!" 

33 He set his bent bow to his breast. 

And leap'd the castell wall; 
And soon he seiz'd on Fause Foodrage, 
Wlia loud for help 'gan call. 

34 " Oh, baud your tongue now, Fause Foodrage, 

Frao mo ye shanna floe ; " 
Syne pierced him through the fause, fause heart, 
And set liis mother free. 

35 And he has rewarded Wise William 

With the best half of his land; 
And sae has he the turtle dow, 
With the truth of his right hand. 


From Bnchan's Ancient Ballads and Songs, vol. i, p. 145, and 
note, p. 306. 

" The Earl Richard, the lailys father, is said to have been one of 
the Earls of Wemyss. 

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<* There is snch a Btriking and visible coinoidenoe between this 
ballad and ' Hynd Horn/ that I am apt to think they are coeval." — 

With reference to the &mi]y and the title of Earl of Wemyss, see 
note, ante, p. 109. 

1 Earl Richard had but ae daughter, 

A maid of birth and fame; 
She lov'd her father's kitchen boy, — 
The greater was her shame. 

2 But she cou*d ne*er her true love see, 

Nor with him cou'd she talk, 
In towns where she had wont to go, 
Nor fields where she cou*d walk. 

8 But it fell ance upon a day. 
Her father went from home ; 
She 'b caird upon the kitchen boy, 
To come and clean her room. 

4 " Come sit ye down by me, Willie, 

Come sit ye down bv me; 
There is nae lord in all the north, 
That I can love like thee." 

5 " Let never the like be heard, lady, 

Forbid that it shou'd be; 
For if your father get word of this. 
He will gae hang me hie." 

6 " Oh, ye shall ne'er bo hang'd, Willie, 

Tour bluid shall ne'er be drawn ; 
ril lay my life in pledge of thine. 
Your body 's ne'er get wrang." 

7 " Excuse me now, my comely dame. 

No langer here I'll stay ; 
You know mjr time is near expir'd, 
And now I must away. 

8 " The master-cook will on me call. 

And answer'd he must be ; 
If I am found in bow'r with thee, 
Great anger will there be." 

9 " The master-cook will on you call. 

But shall not answer'd be; 
ni put you in a higher place 
Than any cook's degree. 

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10 ^' I have a coffer full of gold, 

Another of white monie ; 
And I will build a bonnie ship, 
And set my love to sea. 

11 " Silk shall be your sailing clothes, 

Gold yellow in your hair; 
As white as milk shall be your hands, 
' Your body neat and fair." 

12 This lady, with her fair speeches. 

She made the boy grow bold; 
And he began to kiss and clap. 
And on his love lay hold. 

13 And she has built a bonnie ship, 

Set her love to the sea, 
With seven score of brisk young men, 
To bear him companie. 

14 Then she *s ta*en out a gay gold ring, 

To him she did it gi*e; 
" This will mind you on the lady, Willie, 
That 's laid her love on thee." 

15 Then he 's ta*en out a piece of gold, 

And ho brake it in two; 
" All I have in the world, my dame, 
For love, I give to you." 

16 So he is to his bonnie ship, 

And merrily ta^en the sea ; 
The lady lay o'er castle wall. 
The tear blinded her e^e. 

17 They had not saiPd upon the sea 

A week but barely three, 
When came a prosperous gale of wind, — 
On Spain's coast landed he. 

18 A lady lay o'er castle wall. 

Beholding dale and down; 

And she beheld the bonnie ship 

Come sailing to the town. 

19 " Come here, come here, my Marys all, 

Ye see not what I see; 
For here I see the bonniest ship 
That ever sail'd the sea. 

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20 "In her there is the bravest sqiiiro 

That e'er my eyes did see ; 
All clad in silk and rich attire, 
A comely youth is he. 

21 " Oh, busk, oh, busk, my Marys all, 

Oh, busk and make ye fine ; 
And wo will on to yon shore side, 
Invite yon squire to dine. 

22 " Will ye come up to my castle 

With me, and take your dine? 
And ye shall eat the gude white bread. 
And drink the claret wine." 

23 " I thank you for your bread, lady, 

I thank you for your wine; 

I thank you for your kind offer. 

But now I have not time." 

21 "I wou'd gi'e all my land," she says, 
** Your gay bride were I she; 
And then to live on a small portion. 
Contented I wou'd be." 

25 *• Siic 'b far awa frao me, lady, 
She 's far awa frao mo, 
That has my heart a-keeping fast, 
And my love still she'll be." 

2G "But ladies they unconstant are, 
When their loves go to sea; 
And she'll be wed ere ye gae back ; 
My love, pray stay with me." 

27 " If she be wed ere I go back. 

And prove sae false to me, 

I shall live single all my life, — 

I'll ne'er wed one but she.'* 

28 Then she 's ta'en out a gay gold ring, 

And ga'e him presentlie ; 
" 'Twill mind you on the lad}-, squire, 
That laid her love on thee." 

29 " The ring that 's on my mid-finger 

Is dearer far to me, 
Though yours were of the gude red gold, 
And mine the metal free." 

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30 He viewed them all, baith neat and email, 

As they stood on the shore ; 
Then spread the mainsail to the wind; 
" Adieu, for evermore ! " 

31 He had not saiPd upon the sea 

A week but barely three, 
Until there came a prosperous gale,— 
In Scotland landed he. 

32 But he put paint upon his face, 

And oil upon his hair; 
Likewise a mask above his brow, 
Which did disguise him sair. 

33 Earl Richard lay o'er castle wall, 

Beholding dale and down ; 

And he beheld the bonnie ship 

Come sailing to the town. 

34 " Come here, come here, my daughter dear, 

Ye see not what I see; 
For here I see the bonniest ship 
That ever saiPd the sea. 

35 " In her there is the bravest squire- 

That e'er my eyes did see ; 
Oh, busk, oh, busk, my daughter dear, 
Oh, busk and come to me. 

36 " Oh, busk, oh, busk, my daughter dear, 

Oh, busk, and make ye fine ; 
And we will on to the shore side. 
Invite yon squire to dine." 

37 *' He 's far awa frae me, father, 

He 's lar awa frae me, 
"Who has the keeping of my heart, 
And rU wed nane but he." 

38 " Whoever has your heart in hand. 

Yon lad's the match for thee; 

And he shall come to my castle 

This day, and dine with me." 

39 " Will ye come up to my castle 

With me, and take your dine ? 
And ye shall eat the gude white bread, 
And drink the cUret wia^/* 

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40 "Yes, ril come up to your castle 

With you, and take my dine ; 
For I wou'd give my bonnie ship, 
Were your fair daughter mine." 

41 " I wou'd give all my lands," he said, 

" That your bride she wou*d be ; 
Then to live on a small portion, 
Contented wou'd I be.'' 

42 As they gaed up from yon sea strand, 

And down the bowling green, 
He ^ew the mask out o'er his face, 
For fear he shou'd be seen. 

43 He's done him down from bow'r to bow'r, 

Likewise from bower to hall ; 

And there he saw that lady gay, 

The flower out o'er them cdl, 

44 He's ta'en her in his arms twa, 

And hail'd her courteouslie ; 
" Excuse me, sir, no strange man shall 
Such freedom use with me." 

45 Her father tum'd him round about, 

A light laugh then gave he ; 
" Stav, I'll retire a little while. 
Perhaps you may agree." 

46 Now Willie's ta'en a gay gold ring, 

And gave her presentlie ; 
Says — "Take ye that, ye lady fair, 
A love-token from me." 

47 " Oh, got ye't on the sea sailing? 
Or got ye't on the sand ? 
Or got ye't on the coast of Spain, 

Or got ye't on the sand ? 
>r got ye't on the coast of I _ 
Upon a dead man's hand?"' 

43 " Fine silk it was his sailing clothes. 
Gold yellow was his hair ; 
It wou'd ha'e made a hale heart bleed 
To see him lying there. 

49 '' He was not dead as I pass'd by, 
But no remeid cou'd be ; 
And he gave me this ring to bear 
Unto a fair ludye, 

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THE miller's son. 189 

50 " And by the marks that he descryved, 

I*m sure that you are she ; 

So take this token of free-will, 

For him yon*ll never see." 

51 In sorrow she tore her mantle, 

With ^ief she tore her hair ; 
" Now, since I*ve lost my own trne love, 
I ne'er will love man mair." 

52 He drew the mask from off his face, 

The lady sweetly smiled ; 
" Awa, awa, ye fause Willie, 
How have you me beguiled ? " 

53 Earl Bichard he went through the hall, 

The wine glass in his hand ; 
But little thought hie kitchen boy 
Was heir o'er all his land. 

54 But this she kept within her heart 

And never told to one, 
Until nine months they were expir'd, 
And she brought home a son. 

55 Then she has told her father dear ; 

He said — " Daughter, well won ; 
You've married, not for gold, but love ; 
Your joys will ne'er be done." 


From Buohon's Andeni BaUada, &c., voL ii, p. 120, and note, p. 

" This ballad, by the burden of its song, is," says Mr. Buchan, 
" undoubtedly old.^' 

It has some points of resemblance both to the ballad which pre- 
cedes^ and the one which follows it. 

The following stanza^ which begins Part II., is omitted in the text^ 
as it appears out of place, obscure, and modem. 

** A bonnie boy the ballad readf 
Forbade them Bair to He; 
8he was a lady In Southland town, 
Her name was Barbarie.'* 

Part I. 
1 " Oh, woe is me ! the time draws nigh 
My love and I must part; 
No one doth know the cares and fears 
Of mj poor troubled heart, 

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2 *' Already I have suffered much; 

Our parting cost me dear; 
Would l^at I cou^d have gone with him| 
Or he could tarry'd here. 

3 " My heart is fix^d within his breast, 

And that he knows right well ; 
For bitter were the tears I shed, 
When I bid him farewell. 

4 " When I bid him farewell," she said, 

'^ Alas, and woe is me; 
For cauld and shrill the wind blows still, 
Between my love and me. 

5 " The hat my love wears on his head, 

It *s not made of the woo'; 
But it is of the silk so fine, 
And well becomes his brow. 

C " His eyes sae blithely they do blink, 
His hair shines like the broom ; 
And I wou'd not gi'e my laddie^s love 
For all the wealth in Rome. 

7 "He said, * Farewell, my dearest dear, 

Since from you I must ^o; 
Let not your heart be fullof grief. 
Nor parting grieve you so. 

8 " * If life remains, I \n\\ return, 

And bear you companie ; ' 
But cauld and shrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me. 

9 " His bonnie middle is well made, 

His shoulders brave and braid; 
Out of my mind he'll never be. 
Till in my grave I'm laid. 

10 " Till I'm in grave laid low,'* she says, 

" Alas! and woe is me; 
Now cauld and raw the wind does blaw, 
Between my love and me. 

11 " Some do mourn for oxen," she said, 

" And others mourn for kye; 
And some do mourn for dowie death, 
But none foy Igy© like I. 

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THE miller's SOK. 141 

12 " What need I make all this din, 

Or what gudo will it dee? 
For caold and Bhrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me." 

13 She 's ta'en her mantle her about, 

And sat down by the shore, 
In hopes to meet with some relief 
But still her grief grew more. 

14 " Oh, 1*11 sit here while my life 's in, 

Until the day I die; 
Ohf cauld and shrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me. 

15 " Oh, see ye not yon bonnie ship? 

She's beauteous to behold; 
Her sails are taffety sae fine, 
Her topmasts shine like gold. 

16 " In yonder ship my love does skip, 

And quite forsaken me; 
And cauld and shrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me. 

17 " My love he *s neither laird nor lord, 

mr ane of noble kin; 
But my bonnie love, the sailor bold, 
Is a poor miUer's son. 

18 " He is a miller's son," she says, 

" And will be till ho die ; 
And cauld and shrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me. 

19 " My love he 's bound to leave tlie land, 

And cross the watery faem; 
And the bonnie ship my love sails in. 
The Goldspink is her name. 

20 ** She sails mair bright than Phoebus fair 

Out o'er the raging sea; 
And cauld and shrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me. 

21 "He promised I shou'd letters have. 

Ere six months they were gone; 
• But now nine months they are expir'd. 
And yet I have got none. 

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22 " So I may sigh, and say, alas 

Hiis day! and woe is me! 
And cauld and shrill the wind blaws still 
Between my love and me. 

23 " I wish a stock-stone aye on earth. 

And high wings on the sea. 
To caase my true love stay at home, 
And no more go from me. 

24 " What needs me for to wish in vain? 

Such things will never be; 
The wind blaws sair in every where 
Between my love and me." 

Part n. 

25 She thought her love was still abroad, 

Beyond the raging sea; 
But there was nae mair between them twa 
Than a green apple tree. 

2G " Cheer up your heart, my dearest dear, 
No more from you I'll part ; 
Fm come to ease the cares and fears 
Of your poor troubled heart. 

27 " All for my sake ye've suffered much ; 

I'm home to cherish thee; 
And now we've met, nae mair to part 
Until the day we die. 

28 " I wish'd your face was set in glass, 

That I might it behold; 
And the very letters of your name 
Were wrote in beaten gold; 

29 " That I the same might bear about, 

Thro' many strange countrie; 
But now we're met, nae mair to part 
Until the day we die. 

80 " Here is a ring, the pledge of love, 

I still will you adore ; 
Likewise a heart that none can move; 
A prince can give no more. 

81 " A prince can give no more, my love, 

Than what I give to thee ; 
Now we are met, nae mair to part 
Until the day we dio. 

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32 "I promised letters to send thee, 

Ere six months they were gone ; 
But now nine months they are ezpired| 
And Tm returned home. 

33 " Now from the seas I am retum'd, 

My dear, to comfort thee; 
And we are met, nae mair to part 
Until the day we die. 

34 " Ye say I'm neither laird nor lord, 

Nor one of nohle kin ; 
But ye sav I'm a sailor bold, 
But and a miller's son. 

35 " When ye come to my father's mill, 

Ye shall grind mouter free; 
For now we're met, nae mair to part 
Until the day we die. 

3G " Ye say Vm bound to leave the land. 
And cross the watery faem ; 
The ship that your true love commands. 
The Qoldspink is her name. 

87 " Though I were heir o'er all Scotland, 
Ye should be lady free ; 
And now we're met, nae mair to part 
Until the day we die." 


Two vernons of this ballad have been published :~ 

L "Bonny Bee-Ho'm." — Jamieson's Popular Ballads, voL i., 
p. 185: where it is '* given verbatim from Mrs. Brown's 
n. "The Enchanted Bing."~Bachan'8 Anaent Ballads, &c., 
vol. i, p. 169. 

'the present version is collated from both, but Mr. Buchan's is the 
one chiefly followed. 

This ballad, like ''Hynde Horn" and others, "is founded," says 
Mr. Bnchan, " on the visionarybellef of a supernatural agency in a 
niece of gold and pebble." Those who are any wa^ curious to 
know the alleged "vertues and qualities of sundrie pretious stones," 
&C., may consult the Discoverie of Witchcraft, by Beginald Scot, 
in which "antiquated and cuiioua black-letter book, printed in 

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1584, p. 231, we find the following receipt for making a ' Wastecote 
of Proof e:^ — * On Christmas daie, at night, a thread mast be sponne 
of flax, by a little virgin drle, in the name of the divell ; and it 
must be by her woven, ana also wrought with the needl& In the 
breast, or fore-part thereof, must be made with needle-work, two 
heads ; on the head, at the light side, must be a hat and a long beard. 
The left head must have on a crown, and it must be so horrible that 
it nude resemble Belzebub ; and on each side of the wastecote must 
be made a cross.' '' — fiuchan's Ancient Ballads, voL iL, p. 345. 

1 In Lauderdale, as late I went,* 

I heard a lady's moan, 
Lamenting sadly for her dear, 
And aye she cried — " Ohon I 

2 " Sure never maid that e'er drew breath 

Had harder fate than mo; 
For I never loved but one on earth, 
And now he 's forced to sea. 

3 "A handsome youth with shoulders broad, 

Gold yellow is his hair; 
None other of our Scotish youths 
Can with my love compare. 

4 " But I will do for my love's sake 

Most ladies wou'd think snir; 
For seven years shall come and gae 
Ere kame gae in my hair. 

6 " There shall neither shoe gae on my feet, 
Nor kame gae in my hair. 
Nor ever coal or candle light 
Within my bowV shine mair. 

6 " And neither ale in Scotland brew'd. 

Nor wine frae foreign land, 

Shall ever cross my halse again, 

Till my love come to land." 

7 She thought her love had been on sea, 

Fast sailing to Bahome; 
But in next chamber still was he, 
And heard his lady's moan. 

8 " Be hush'd, be hush'd, my lady dear; 

I pray thee, moan not so; 
For I am deep sworn on a book, 
To<Bahome for to go. 

• " In Arthnr'a dale.'*-^ainiefiOQ*B ToraloOt 

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9 " And traitors false there to subdue, 
O^cr seas I make me boun', 
For they've trepan^d our kindly Scots, 
Like dogs to ding them down." 

10 " Then take this ring, this royal thing, 

Set with a ruby stone ; 
As long as 'tis your finger on. 
Your blood can ne'er be drawn. 

11 " But if this ring shou'd fade or stain, 

Or tho ruby cliange its hue, 
Be sure your love is dead and gone, 
Or she has proved untrue." 

12 Tliis loving couple then did part. 

With sad and heavy moan; 
The wind was fair, the ship was rare, 
And soon he reach'd Bahome. 

13 But in Bahome he had not been 

A month but barely one, 
Till tarnish'd was his gay gold ring, 
And faded was the stone. 

li And in Bahome he scarce had been 
Some two months past and ^one. 
Till black and ngly grew the nng. 
And lustreless the stone. 

15 " Fight on, fight on, you merry men all. 

With you I'll fight no more ; 
But I will gang to some holy place, 
Pray to the King of Qlore." 

16 Then to a chapel he has gone, 

And knelt upon his knee 
For seven days and seven nights. 
Then this bequest made he : 

17 "When you return to Scotland fair, 

Gi'e all I ha'e to gi'e 
To the young that canna, the auld that maunna. 
And the blind that downa see. 

18 " But gi'e the maist to women weak. 

Can neither fight nor flee. 
For the sake of her — I trust in heaven— 
Wha died for love of me," 

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19 Then death did come with kindly dart, 
And split his heart in twain ; 
God grant their souls are both in heaven, 
There ever to remaia. 


Abridged from Bnchan's Ancient Ballads, Ac, voL ii., p. 282. 

This ballad has some points of analogy with the one which precedes 
it, Mrith "Sir Cawline" which follows it, and with the Danish oallads, 
"Sir Olger the Dane," and "Sir Grimner," both of which last are 
translate in Old Danish Ballads, from OrimnCs CoUecUon, London, 

Many of the names of persons and places in the early romantic 
ballads are such as it would puzzle the most learned antiquary to 
identify; bat the name of Windsor, which occurs in the present ballad, 
is not one of these. 

It is not, however, New Windsor, distant fully tweni7 miles west by 
south from London, and celebrated for its royal castle and domain ; 
but Old Windsor, situated about two miles south-east from the 
other, which is referred to in the ballad. At this latter place the 
Saxon kings had a palace which was named Windles-ofra, or 
Windleshora, from the winding of the Thames at this part of its 

Whether the Linne of the ballad refers,~to the ancient town of Lynn 
Regis in Norfolk ; to the modem Lincoln, known under the Eomans 
as Lindum, and under the Saxons as Lindsey, during a portion of 
which regime nearly, if not quite, the whole of the modem counly 
ap|)ears to have existed as a subordinate state in connection with the 
Saxon kingdom of Mercia ; to some other place unknown ; or to some 
region purely ima^ary, — is a problem which cannot now be solved ; 
and, fortunately, it is a matter of no great consequence. 

The name occurs in a preceding ballad, as designating the domain 
of "Younjj Bekie,'' and it gives title to "The Heir of Linne," a 
ballad which appears in a subsequent portion of this work. 

The name of the heroine^s father," King Honour,'' also appears in 
"Fause Foodrage," aiUe, p. 128. 

1 It fell upon the Lammas time, 

When flowers were fresh and green, 
And craig and cleugh were covered o'er 
With clothing that was clean. 

2 'Twas at that time a noble squire, 

Sprung from an ancient line, 
Laid his love on a lady fair, 
The king's daughter of Linne. 

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— - - - - - 5^ 


3 When cocks did craw, and day did daw, 

And mint in meadows sprang, 
Toung Ronald, and bis little wee boy. 
They rode the way alang. 

4 And when be unto Windsor came. 

And lighted on the ^een. 
Young Ronald spv'd his mother dear 
Was walking there alane. 

- 5 " Where ha*e you been, my son Ronald, 
From gude school-house this day?*' 
" Oh, I ba^e been at Linne, mother, 
Seeing yon bonnie May." 

6 " Ob, waes me for you now, Ronald, 

For she will not you ha'e: 
For many a knight and bauld baron 
She 's nick'd them aye with Nay." 

7 Toung Ronald 's done him to his bow'r, 

And he took bed and lay; 
Nae woman cou*d come in his sight. 
For thoughts of this fair May. 

8 Then Ronald call'd his stable groom 

To come right speedilie; 
Says — " Ye'U gang to von stable, boy. 
And saddle a steed lor me. 

" His saddle of the good red gold, 
His bits of polish'd steel. 
His bridle of a glittering hue ; 
See that ye saddle him weel." 

10 When cocks did craw, and day did daw. 

And mint in meadows sprang. 
Young Ronald, and his little wee boy, 
The way they rode alang. 

11 So they rode on, and farther on, 

To yonder pleasant green; 
And there they saw that lady fair. 
In her garden alane. 

12 He rais'd his hat, and thus he spake, — 

" Oh, pity have on me! 
For I cou'd pledge what is my right, 
All for the sake of thee." 

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13 " But l*m too young to wed, kind sir; 

You must not take it ill; 
Whate'or my father bids me do, 
I maun be at his will. 

14 " King Honour is my father's name, 

The morn to war maun fare; 
He gangs to fight a giant proud, 
That 's wrought him meikle care. 

15 " Alang with him he is to take 

Baith noble knights and squires; 
If you gae there a weel-graith'd knight, 
You'll honour my desires. 

16 " And I'll give you a thousand crowns, 

To part among your men ; 
A robe upon your ain body, 
Weel sew'd with my ain hand. 

17 " Likewise a ring, a royal thing. 

Whose virtue is well known ; 
As lang 's this ring 's your finger on, 
Your bluid shall ne'er be drawn." 

1 8 He kiss'd her then, and took his leave ; 

His heart was all in pride; 

And he is on to Windsor gone. 

With his boy by his side. 

19 And when he unto Windsor came, 

And lighted on the green, 
Young Ronald saw his auld father 
Was walking there alane. 

20 " Where ha'e ye been, my eon Ronald, 

From gude school-house the day?" 
" Oh, I ha'e been at Linne, father, 
Seeking yon bonnie May." 

21 " Oh, waes me for you now, Ronald, 

For she will not you ha'e; 
Many a knight and bauld baron 
She 's nick'd them aye with Nay." 

22 " Oh, hold your tongue, my father dear, 

Let all your folly be; 
The last words that I with her spake, 
Her love was granted me. 

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23 " The mom I join her father dear, 
His knights and noble squires, 
To fight against a giant proud, 
And honour her desires." 

2i His father gave him a hundred men, 
To bear him companie; 
Besides as meikle gude harness 
As carry them on the lea. 

25 When cocks did craw, and day did daw, 

And mint in meadows spread, 
Toung Bonald and his merry young men 
Were ready for to ride. 

26 So they rode on, and farther on. 

To yonder pleasant green; 
And there they spy'd 3iat lady fair, 
With love-tears in her een. 

27 And twenty times before he ceased. 

He kissed her lips sae clear; 
And said — " I'll fight the giant proud 
For your sake, lady dear." 

28 Then to his great steed he sot spur, 

Which bein^ swift of feet, 
They soon amv'd upon the plain, 
Where all the rest did meet. 

29 Then flew the foul thief frae the west. 

His maik was never seen; 
He had three heads upon ae hause, 
Three heads on ae breast-bane. 

80 He bauldly stepped up to the king; 
Says — " Fm a valiant man; 
Let you, or any in your train. 
Fight me now if ye can." 

31 " Where is the man in all my train 
Will take this deed in hand? 
And ho shall ha'e my daughter dear. 
And third part of my land." 

82 *' Oh, here am I," said young Bonald, 
"Will take the deed in hand; 
If you give me your daughter dear, 
t'U seek nane of your land." 

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" I wou^dna for my life, Ronald, 
That you shou'd perish here; 

Bemember that my daughter fair 
For you shed many a tear." 

84 When he thought on that lady fair 
He ne'er might see again, 
He boldly coursed him to the fight, 
Like a lion irae a chain. 

35 Then he cut aff the giant's heads 
With ae sweep of nis hand, 
Gaed hame and marry'd that lady fair, 
And heir'd her father's land. 


This old romantic tale has appeared in print in the following 
works : — 

L Under the title of "Sir Canline," in Percy's ReUques, vol. 

i., p. 38, 2d edit, 1767. 
II. Under the above title, in Bnchan's Ancient BdUada and 

Songs, voL ii, p. 6. 
III. Under the title of ''Sir Oawline," in Bishop Percy's Folio 
Manuscript (printed copy), voL iiL, p. 1. 

The version given in the Reliques extends to 392 lines, while the 
last-named copy contains 201 lines, only 162 of which are represented 
in the JReUqttes; the concluding portion of the MS. copy bemg either 
omitted, or completely perverted bjr Bishop Percy m bis version. 
These are fiicts wnich the apparently innate modesty of the ingenuous 
and venerable prelate led him, in this instance, to conceal under the 
pre&tory statement that the copy "preserved in the editor's folio MS." 
was " in so very defective and mutilated a condition (not from any chasm 
in the MS., but from great omission in the transcript, probably copied 
from the £mlty recitation of some illiterate minstrel), and the whole 
appeared so f^ short of the perfection it seemed to deserve, that the 
editor was tempted to add several stanzas in the first part, and still 
more in the second, to connect and complete the story m the manner 
which appeared to him most interesting and affecting ;" but which un- 
fortunately appears to others, as rather " most" stuted and affected. 
It is well, however, that the world, or at least the English reading 
portion of i^ should now be aware of the full extent of its or their 
mdebtedness to the worthy p»relate ; and this it or they are now en- 
abled to estimate hy comparing the "Sir CavHiine" of the JReliques 
with the " Sir Cawline " of the MS., as it appears in the printed 
copy issued by or in connection with the Early English Text 

Mr. Buchan's version comprises 27 stanzas, and numbers 110 

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It omits the apocryphal billing and cooing which the taste and in- 
▼ention of the Bishop led him to tag on as a fitting finale to his first 
put ; and it entirely omits his second part, with its perverted termin- 
ation, but finishes with one stanza in accord with the derwuemerU of 
the MS. copy. 

Yet the editor or editors of the MS. copy, not satisfied with his 
or their ez^snre of the English prelate, which there is ample evidence 
to substantiate, cannot stop short, bat mnst in the finsh of victory 
proceed to play the role of hterary bravo or bravos against the Scotish 
editor, by msmuating that '* there can be little doubt that this [his 
version] is one of that collector's many fabrications,"— not a tittle of 
evidence being adduced in support of this, to say the least of it, 
most imoharitable accusation. 

Probably the editor or editors thought somethinff necessary in order 
to appease the manea of the convict^ prelate, and satisfy mb genius 
cf their coimtry, — ^too often tremblingly and meanly jealous of- Scot- 
land and of Scotsmen ; but if so, it is much to be regretted that he or 
they could think of no other and bettor way than by this attempt to 
immolate the reputation and outrage the memory of a deceased 
collector and editor, notoriously as honest as he was painstaking. 

Kor is it on this ground alone that they are open to animadversion, 
as it can easily be uiown that the ignorance and sycophancy of this 
contemptible coterie of padding manufacturers is quite on a par with 
their egotism, impertinence, and malignity. And that we do not need 
to travel far for proof of this, lot the following fieiwning paragraph, 
which immediately precedes the attack made on the late Mr. Buchan, 
testify: — 

** As Mr. Furnival, in his original proposal for the publication of 
the folio^ said : — ^ With a true instinct Professor Child remarked in his 
BaUatU (ed. 1861, vol. iii, p. 172), it is difficult to believe that 
this charming romance had so tragic and so sentimental a con- 
clusion.' '' 

Now let us quoto the words of Mr. Motherwell, the steadfast and 
appreciative friend of Mr. Buchan, and the precursor, if not the 
actual inspirer of this marvellous intuition which Mr. Furnival 
and his coadjutors delight to honour. He says : — 

** How much it (Sir Cauline) owes to the taste and genius of its 
editor, we have not the means of ascertaining ; but that his interpola- 
tions and additions have been very considerable, any one acquamted 
with ancient minstrelsy will have little room to doubt. We suspect 
too that the original ballad had a less melancholy catastrophe, and 
that the brave Syr Cauline, after his combat with the ' hend soldan/ 
derived as much benefit from the leechcraft of fiftir Christabelle as he 
did after winning the Eldridge sword." 

Keferring to the theory of another accomplished, but prematurely 
cut ofi^ baUad editor ana annotator, Mr. Motherwell adds :— 

*^ Between this ballad and some parte of the metrical romance of 
Sir Triatrem^ the late Mr. Finlay of Glasgow affecte to discover a 
resemblance; but he has not condescended to trace a parallel between 
them. Indeed, we cannot help thinking, for all he says to the 
oontraiy, that his reasoning is no whit superior to Fluellin's i^* There 

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is a river at Macedon, and there is also moreover a river at Mon- 
month :' and, according to Mr. Finlay, ' there is an Irish king and 
his daughter in ''Sir Cauline."' And there is also, moreover, aa 
Irish kmg and his daughter in Sir Tristrem, The concealed love of 
^ Gauline for one so much above him in station will remind the 
reader of the gentle 

* Sqoyer of low© degxh 

That lOTOd the king's donghter of Hnngre.' " 

MinstrtUy, AnderU and Modem, p. 99. 

As regards the nationality of the ballad, it appears from the Percy 
FoUo MS. (printed copy, voL iii, p. 1, footnote), that Bishop Percy 
had indicated, and we believe correctly, his opinion in the following 
tenns, as inscribed by him on the MS. : — 

''A strange romantic old song, — very jdefeotive and obscure. — 
N,B, This seemes to have been onginaUv a Scotch song, which will 
account for its being so corropted. — P, We presume his meamns 
to be that^ on account of its being Scotch, the English reciter and 
transcriber did not fully understand, and consequenuy corrupted it. 

« King Malcolm and Sir Colvin^," as here printed, is collated, with 
some editorial license, from '* Sir Cawline," Bishop Percy's Folio M8,, 
printed copy, voL iii, pp. 4-11, lines 31 to 129 inclusive, and from 
Mr. Buchan's ballad, "King Malcolm and Sir Colvin;" but the 
latter is the one chiefly followed. 

The original version of the latter ends with the following stanza :— 

' Up he haa Wen that blnldy hand, 
Bet it before the khig; 
And the mom it waR WedneRday. 

it before the 1 

the mom itwi 

When he married his daughter Joaa" 

As an appropriate prelude, the following stanzas, which form the 
ednning of the ballad of " Sir Cawline " in Bishop Percv's Folio 

Ma., are here given verbatim from the printed copy, voL liL, pp. S 

" lesna : lord mldde of might, 
Mat dyed fFor vs on the roode 
to maintalne vs in all our righ^ 
4 that loues true English blood. 

'' fTor by a Ent^At I say my song, 
was bold & ffnll hardye; 
Sir Bobert Brinse wold fforth to fflght 
8 in-to Ireland ooer the sea; 

•* ft in that land dweUa a king 

wAich oner all does beare the bell, 
ft with him there dwelled a corteouB Enif^t, 
13 men call him Sir Cawline. 

*' And he hathe a Ladye to his daughter, 
of ff ashy on shee hath noe peers; 
"KnigJUB and lordes they woed her both, 
16 tmsted to hane beene her peere. 

" Sir Cawline lones her best of on^, 
bat nothing durst hee say 
to descreeue his coansell to noe man, 
^ bat deerlye loued this mayd. 

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*' till itt beffell ^pon a day, 
great dill to nlm was dight, 
the maydena lone remoaod his mind, 
24 to care bed went the Knight ; 

" & one while ho spread his armes him ffroe, 
& cryed soe pit^ooalye 
ffor the maydena lone that I hane most minde, 
28 this day may comfort mee, 
or else ere noono I shal bo dead! 
thus can Sir Cawllne say." 

Compare, in particuJar, lines 21 to 28, with stanza 7 of *' Touns 
Ronald," ante, p. 146. 

1 There lived a king in fair Scotland, 

King Malcolm call'd by name, 

Renown'd, as history doth record, 

For valour, worth, and fame. 

2 Now, it fell ance upon a day, 

This king sat down to dine; 
And then he missed a favourite knight, 
Whose name was Sir Golvine. 

8 But out then spake another knight, 
Ane of Sir Colvine's kin : 
" Sir Colvine 's sick and like to die, 
And needing good leechin\" 

4 " Go fetch to him my daughter dear, 

She is a leech full fine; 
And take ye bread, and wine so red, 
To give to Sir Colvine. 

5 " No dainties let Sir Colvine lack, 

Spare nothing that is mine; 
A knight so leal and brave as he, 
I wou'd be loth to tyne." 

6 The king's daughter did bear the bread, 

Her page did bear the wine. 
And set a table at his bed, — 
" Sir Colvine, rise and dine." 

7 " Oh, well love I the wine, lady, 

Comes frae your lovely hand ; 
But better I love yourser, lady, 
Than all fair Scotland's strand. 

8 " And it is for your love, lady, 

That all this dule I dree ; 
But grant your love, seal'd with a kiss, 
And I wou^d pass from bale to bliss, 

A»d Qftue mfur happy be,'^ 

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9 " Oh, hold your tongue now, Sir Colvine, 
Let all your folly be; 
My love must be by honour won, 
Or naue shall marry mc." 

10 " Alas, full well I know, lady, 

I cannot be your peer, 
But Vd fain do some deed of arms 
To be your bacheleer." 

11 " Then hie ye to the Elrick hill, 

Near by yon sharp hawthorn, 
Where never man did walk all night 
Since Christ our Lord was born. 

12 " Oh, hie ve there and walk all night, 

And boldly blaw your horn; 
And if with nonour ye return, 
I'll marry ye the morn." 

13 Then up Sir Colvine quickly raise, 

For battle has him Doun*; 
And said — *' Fair lady, for your sake, 
V\\ walk the bent sae brown. 

14 '^ And I will bring a token back. 

Or never mair be seen ; " 
Then forth Sir Colvine proudly walked, 
Clad in his armour keen. 

15 He hied him to the Elrick hill, 

To walk and walk all night; 
And the lady to her chamber went, 
With all her maidens bright. 

16 At midnight mirk the moon did rise, 

While ne walkM up and down ; 
And a lightsome bugle he heard sound, 
Over the bent sae brown. 

17 Then near him by, the knight did spy, 

By the twinkling of an e'e, 
A fierce-like knight and lady bright, 
Wha comely was to see. 

18 This fierce knight calPd to Sir Colvino^— 

^^ man, I rede thee, flee; 
I bear a brand both sharp and broad^ 
Will qi^rter you iu imQ\ 

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19 " For there 's never man comes to this hill, 

But he maun fight with me; 
And if cryance come thy heart intil, 
It*s here that ye maun dee." 

20 Sir Colvine said — " I'm not afraid 

Of any here I see ; 
In Christ ahove I put my trust, 
And therefore dread not thee." 

21 Sir Colvine then he drew his sword, 

The fierce knight drew his brand; 
And stiff and stoure and stark and doure, 
Each other did withstand. 

22 But Colvine, with an awkward stroke, 

Struck ofif the knight's right hand, 
And down fell hand, and down fell brand. 
Upon the Elrick land. 

23 The fingers of the hand that fell, 

Were girt with five rings round; 
And the rings that were tnese fingers on. 
Were worth five hundred pound. 

24 " I yield, I yield," the fierce knight said, 

" I fairly yield to thee ; 
No man e'er came to Elrick hill 
E'er gain'd such viotorie. 

25 ''land my forbears here did haunt 

A thousand years and more; 

Fm safe to swear a solemn oath. 

We ne'er were beat before." 

26 Then the knight's fair lady wrung her hand, 

And Colvine did implore: 
" For love of her, whom you love most, 
Ftay smite my lord no more. 

27 " But give me back my wounded knight^ 

Let us fare on our way; 
And never more, on Elrick hill, 
For rapine or for play; 

28 " No, never more, on Elrick hill, 

Bv night nor yet by day, 
ShaU we molest the race of men, 
Qu Christ their troat doth lay." 

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29 8ir Colvine set the Elrick knight 
Upon his steed again, 
Who with his lady Teal and fair 
Bade off with might and main. 

80 Sir Colvine then took up the hand, 
With five rings it upon, 
Likewise the brand as hard as flint, 
And homeward he has gone. 

31 There to the king's fair daughter gave 
These tokens of his love, 
Won by the might of his right arm, 
And trust in Christ above. 


The following stanzas, which narrate the adventures of " Sir Caw- 
line " after his return from his oombat with the ** Elrick'' or " Eldrid^ 
kin^'' or *'knighV' are here given verbatim fix)m the Percy Folio 
MJS,, printed copy, vol. ill., p. 11. 

They begin abruptly, which led Bishop Peroy to note on the MS., 
'* Some very great omission here,'' and induced him to tax his inven- 
tion to fiU the gap ; which he accordingly did, to the extent^ and in 
the manner, previously indicated. 

The fight with the ** Oyant " or '* Soldan" bears considerable re- 
semblance to the conclndinff portion of "Young Bonald " {ante, p. 149); 
and the adventure with tSe ** Lion " finds ite counterpart in the life 
of the Scotish patriot Sir William Wallace, as narrated by Henry 
the Minstrel. 

The incident is said to have occurred during the sojourn of Wallace 
in France, and to have been brought about through the jealousy of the 
French courtiers, who thought, by means of this plot^ to get ria of the 
indomitable Scot, whose superiority they could ill brool^ but whose 
prowess they had seen, felt, and feared. 

The resemblance may be seen from the following extract^ the ortho- 
graphy of which has been modernized, but which m other respects is 
given as it appears in the original. 

836 "ThlM thing admitted was, 

That Wallaoe ahoa^ on to the Lion paea. 
The king than 6hai«;d to bring him gade hameeas 
And he said, * Nay, God shield me fne alo case. 
I won'd take weld, ahoa'd I fight wltti a man; 

940 Bat rf or] a dog, that nought or aima can, 
I win have nana, bat aingalar aa I ga*.* 
A great mi^nfl f aboot hla hand *gan taJtd, 
And hla gade aword; with him he took na9 mairs 
AbaQdoQi7labarrM«nter'ath«r«, ^ 

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245 Great chains was wroofht in the gate With a gin, 

And pall*d It to when Wallace was therein. 

The wnd Lion, on Wallace where he stood, 

Bampant he brayed, for he desired blood; 

With liis rude paws in the mantle wrought B&e. 
250 Athwart the back then Wallace 'gan him taXe, 

With his gude sword that was of bumish'd steel. 

His body in twa it thmschyt euirilk doUL " 

->BliDd Harry's WcUktce, p. 324, Jamieson'a ed., Glasgow, 

The plottmff of the courtiers, which led to the combat between 
Wallace and the lion, recalls to recollection the stor^ of Daniel in the 
den of lions; and various incidents in the tale of Sir Cawline remind 
us of ciroonurtances in the history of David, King of IsraeL 

Bishop Percy omitted the portion from line 163 onwards. 

As explained by Mr. Fhimivall, ** The expansions of contractions 
are marked in the text by italics, after the German plan introduced 
(I belieye) to the English public by Mr. Whitley Stokes, in his " edition 
of The Play of the Sacrament for the Philological Society. — Fore- 
wards, p. 23, (Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript^ printed copy, voL i) 

& a Qyant that was both Stiflfe [&] strong, 
he lope now them amonge, 
132 & vpon his squier 5 heads he bare, 
vninackley made was hee. 

& he dranke then ou the Kings wine, 
& be put the cup in his sleeue ; 
136 & all th^ trembled & were wan 

ffor feare he shold them greefie. 

** lie tell thee mine Arrand, King,^^ he sayes, 

^* mine errand what I doe heere; 
140 fifor I will bren thy temples hye, 

or He baue thy daughter deere; 
in, or else vpon, yond more soe brood 

thou shalt ffind mee a ppeare/' 

144 the King he turned him round about, 
(Lora, in his heart he was woe!) 
says, " is there noe Kmght of the round table 
this matter wiU vndcrgoe ? 


" I, & hee shall haue my broad Lands, 
& keepe them well his Hue; 

I, and soe he shall my daughter deere, 
to be his weded wiffe." 

152 & then stood vp Sif Cawline 
his owne errand fiFor to say : 
"ifaith, I wold to god. Sir," sayd Sir Cawline, 
** (hat Boldan I will assay. 

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156 **goe, ffeitch me downe my Eldrige sword, 
ffor I woone itt att [a] ffray." 
" but away, away ! " aayd the hend Soldan, 
" thou tarryeat mee here all day!" 

160 but the hend Soldan & Str Oawlino 
th^ fifought a Summers day : 
now has hee slaine that hend Soldan, 
& brought his 5 heads away. 

164 & the King has betaken him his broade lands 
& all his venison.* 

" but take you too & vour Lands [soe] broad, 
& brooke them well your liffe, 
168 ffor you promised me your daughter deere 
to be my weded wine." 

" now by my ffaith," then says our Kw^, 
" ffor that wee will not striffe; 
172 ffor thou shalt haue my daughter dere 
to be thy weded wine." 

the other mominge Bit Gawline rose 

by the dawning of the day, 
176 & vntill a garden did he g^e 

his Mattms ffor to say; 
& that bespyed a ffalse steward — 

a shames death that he might dyel--- 

180 & he lett a lyon out of a bande, 
Bir Cawline ffor to teare; 
& he had noe wepon him vpon, 
nor noe wepon did weare. 

184 but hee tooke his Mantle of greene, 
into the Lyons mouth itt thrust ; 
he held the Lyon soe sore to the wall 
till the Lyons hart did burst. 

188 & the watchmen cried vpon the walls 

& sayd, *' Sir Cawlines slaine I 
and with a beast is not ffull litle, 

a Lyon of Mickle mayne." 
192 then the Einga daughter shee ffell downe, 

"for peerlesse is my payne! " 

* And prof erred tbem to Sir CawIIna 
Ail for bl8 iraoTson (t. «., rewftrd), 

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" peace, my Lady !" sayes S«r Cawline, 
" I haue bought thy loue ffull deore. 

peace, my Lady! " sayes Str Cawline, 
"peace, Lady, fifor I am heerel" 

then he did marry this Kings daughter 
with gold and siluer bright, 
200 & 15 sonnes this Ladye beere 
to Sir Cawline the Eiiight. 


This ballad was firat published in Herd's Andent and Modern 
ScoUish Sanffs, ftc, vol. i, p. 163. " A fuller set," says Motherwell, 
was next ''given by Mr. sharpe in his BdUad Book (p. 45), taken 
firom recitation; but I have seen a printed stall copy as early as 1749, 
entitled 'The Western Tragedy,' which perfectly ames with Mr. 
Sharpens copy. I have also seen a later stall print, caUed ' The Histo- 
rical Ballad of May Cuhuan,' to which is prefixed some local tradition 
that the lady there celebrated was of ine funily of Kennedy, and 
that her treacherous and murder-minting lover was an EcdesiBatick of 
the monastery of Maybole. In the parish of Ballantrae, on the sea- 
coast, there is a frowning precinice pointed out to the traveller as 
'Fause Sir John's Loup.^ Tn tne North Coimtry, at the Water of 
Ugie, I am informed by Mr. Buchan, there is a similar distinction 
claimed for some precipice there. The same gentleman has recovered 
other two ballads on a similar story: one called 'The Water o' 
Wearie's Well;' and the other, from its burden, named 'Aye as the 
Gowans grow Oay*' in both of which the heroes appear to have 
belonged to the Emn tribe."— Motherwell's MiMtrelsy, Introduction, 
p. buL, note 24. 

In the same work (p. 67), Mr. Motherwell printed "a copy ob- 
tained from recitation^ collated with" the "copy to be found in" 
Herd's collection. 

In addition to the two ballads named by Mr. Motherwell, as re- 
covered by Mr. Buchan, the AndetU BdUads and Songs, &c., of the 
latter contain (voL 11, p. 45) yet another Scotish version of this 
widely-spread ballad. 

'<The stor^r of this ballad," says Professor Child, "has apparently 
some connection with Bluebeard, but it is hard to say what the con- 
nection is (see FUehet's Vogd in the Qrimms' K, tc H.^MWrehen, No. 
46, and notes). The versions of the ballad in other languages are aU 
but innumerable."— Professor Child's Bnglisk and SeoUieh Ballade^ 
YoL ii, p. 271. 

"In Bngland," says the annotator of SeotHsh TracUUonal Verriona 
qf Ancient BaUads, "the tale is well known and popular, under the 
titie of ' The Outlandish Knight,' of which ballad stall copies of con- 
llderable antu^uil^ ore in ezistencei" and in th« Mm9 worl^ thero 

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I (p. 101) a modernized yersion, as originally oommanioated by 
It. James H. Dixon <<to The Table-Book of the late Mr. Hone." 

Mr. Chambers states that '' Carlton Castle, about two miles to the 
south of Giryan (a tall old rain situated on the brink of a bank which 
overhangs the sea), is affirmed by the country people, who still remem- 
ber the story with great freshness, to haye been the residence of 'the 
fause Sir John;* while a tall r^ky eminence, called Gamesloup, 
overhanging the sea, abont two miles fieirfcheT south, and over which 
the roaa passes in a style terrible to all travellers, is pointed out as 
the place where he was in the habit of drowning his wives, and where 
he was finally drowned himself. "ScoUiah Bauads, p. 232. 

Mr. Jamieson's observation on the transposition of "names, time, 
and place," in traditionary storjr, as quoted, ante, p. 30, appears peculi- 
arly applicable in connection with this ballad. 

The pilfering propensities of May Colvine are moderate in com- 
parison with the *' sixty thousand pounds" abstracted by the heroine 
in *' Leesome Brand," ante, p. 60. Moreover, such actions seem to 
have been common; for, in ''the romantic story of ' Sir Sampson and 
Hildesvida,' the daughter of Jarl Rudgeir, with which the Wilkina 
Sa^ commences, as in the Swedish and Danish ballads of 'Fair 
MQel,' &C., the knight causes the lady to pack up all the plate and 
treasure she can get her hands on, to carry away with her." — Jamie- 
son's Ilhutrationa qf Northern Antiqui^, p. 318. 

1 Heabd ve ever of a bluidy knight 

Lived in the West Countrie, 

Wha did betray eight virgins fair, 

And drown them in the sea? 

2 All ladies of a gude account, 

Afl ever yet were known : 
This traitor was a baron knidit, 
They call*d him fause Sir John. 

3 Then fause Sir John a-wooing came 

To a maid of beauty rare ; 
May Colvine was this lady's name, 
Her father's only heir. 

4 He courted her baith but and ben, 

And urgentljr did pray, 
That May Colvine would give consent 
To mount and ride away. 

Said he — ** I am a knight of might, 
Of town-lands twenty- three; 

And youll be lady of tnem all, 
If you will gang with me," 

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6 " Excuse me, gude Sir John," she said, 

" To wed 1 am too young ; 
Without you have my parents' leave, 
With you I darena gang." 

7 " Your parents' leave you soon shall have, 

To this they will agree ; 
For I have made a solemn vow, 
This night youll gang with me." 

8 Frae below his arm he puird a charm. 

And stuck it in her sleeve ; 
And he has made her gang with him. 
Without her parents' leave. 

From her father's coffers she took out 
Of gold five hundred pound ; 
And from his stable she took out 
The best steed cou'd be found. 

10 Then privately they rade away, 

They made nae stop nor stay, 

Nor curb'd nor drew the bridle rein 

Till they reach'd Binyan Bay. 

11 This bay lay in a lonely place, 

Nae habitation nigh ; 
And girt by rocks baith high and steep, 
Where nane could hear her cry. 

12 " Light down, light down, fair May Colvine, 

Your bridal bed you see ; 
For here I've drown'd eight virgins brave, 
And you the ninth maun be." 

13 " Are these your bow'rs and lofty towers, 

Sae beautiful and gay? 
Or is it for my gold,' she said, 
" You take my life away ? " 

14 '* Cast aff, cast aff your jewels fine, 

Sae costly, rich, and brave : 
They are too costly and too fine 
To sink in the sea wave." 

15 Then aff she 's ta'en her jewels fine, 

And thus she made her moan : 
" Have mercy on a virgin young, 
I pray you, gude Sir John I " 

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16 ^^ Cast aff, cast aff, fair May Oolvinc, 

Your gown and petticoat ; 
For they're too costly and too fine, 
In salt sea foam to rot." 

17 '^ Take all I have, my life to save, 

O gude Sir John, I pray; 
Let it ne'er be said you kilPd a maid 
Upon her wedding-day." 

18 " Strip aff, strip aflf jrour Holland smock, 

That 's bordered with the lawn; 
For it 's too costly and too fine 
To toss on the sea sand." 

19 ^* Oh, torn ye roond, thon gude Sir John, 

Your back about to me ;* 
It is not comely for a man 
A naked woman to see." 

20 But as Sir John he tum'd him round, 

She threw him in the sea ; 
Says — ** Lye ye there, ye fause Sir John, 
Whore you thought to lay me. 

21 " Oh, lye ye thoro, ye traitor fause, 

Where you thought to lay me; 
You wou'd ha'e stript me to the skin, 
But get your claise with thee." 

22 " Oh, help ! oh, help now, May Colviiiol 

Oh, help 1 or else I drown! 
I'll take you to your father's gate, 
And safely set ye down." 

23 ^^ Nae help, nae help, thou fause Sir John, 

Nae help to such as thee ; 
You lye not in a caulder bed 
Than that you meant for me I 

24 " Lyo there, lye there, thou traitor fause. 

Your bed the gurgling sea ; 
If you ha'e bedded eight damsels there, 
The ninth has bedded thee." 

25 Then she mounted on her father's steed. 

And swiftly rode away. 
Arriving at her father's house 
At breaking of the day. 

* Variation: '*And look to the leaf of the tree.**^MotherweQ. 

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26 Then out the wily parrot spake, 

Unto fair May Col vine: 
" What ha'e ye done with fause Sir John, 
That you went with yestreen ? ** 

27 " Oh, haud your tongue, my pretty poll, 

And talk nae mair of me : 
And for every meal ye got before. 
My poll, ye will ha*e three. 

28 " Oh, haud your tongue, my pretty poll, 

Lay not the blame on me ; 
Your cage shall be of the beaten gold, 
And the spokes of ivory." 

29 It *8 up then spake her father dear,* 

Frae chamber where he lay : 
" What aileth thee, my pretty poll, 
That ye chat sac ere day?" 

30 " The cat she scratched at my cage door, 

And fain wou'd worry*d me. 
And I caird in fair May Col vino 
To take the cat frao me." 

31 Tben first she tauld hor mother dear 

Concerning fause Sir John ; 
And next she tauld her father dear 
The deed that she had done. 

32 " If that be true, fair May Colviue, 

That ye ha'e tauld to me, 
To-day, ore I do eat or drink, 
This fause Sir John Til see." 

33 Then aff they went, with one consent, 

At dawning of the day, 
Until they came to Carline sands, 
And there his body lay. 

34 His body tall, with that great fall, 

On waves toss'd to and fro, 
The diamond ring that he had on 
Had broke in pieces two. 

85 And they ha'e taken up his corpse 
To vender pleasant green ; 
And there they buried fause Sir John, 
For fear he sbou'd be seen. 

* ** Up then q^o the king lilxn8elf."-'MotherwoIl. 

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36 Yo ladies all, wherever jou be, 
That read this moarnful song, 
I pray you mind on Ma^ Colvine, 
And think on fanse 8ir John. 


From Buchan's Ancient BaUads and Songs, voL ii., p. 20L 

As remarked by Professor Child, this appears to " be a oomponndof 
two ballads, the conclusion being taken m>m a story of the cnaracter 
of 'May Colvine.' 

"Full details upon the corresponding Scandinavian, German, and 
Slavic legends are given by Grundt, — viz., in the preface to *Noekkens 
Svig,' Danmarhs G. Folkeviscr, vol. ii, p. 57— translated by Jamieson, 
vol. L , p. 210 ; and by Monk Lewis, Tales of Wonder, No. 1 1. *'— English 
and ScoUish BaUads, vol. i, p. 198. 

Another translation of "Marstigs," or "Marc Sti^^s Daughter,*' 
appears in Old Danish BaUads, from QrimnCs CoUeclton; and in th^ 
latter work, p. 132, it is said to refer to "the exiled daughter of a 
Danish nobleman executed for the murder of King Erick Glipping 
(A.D. 1286)." 

1 There came a bird out of a bush, 

On water for to dine : 
And, sighin* sair, says the king^s daughter, — 
"Oh, wae's this heart of mine!" 

2 lie's ta'en a harp into his hand. 

He's harp'd them all asleep; 
Except it was the king's daughter, 
Wha ae wink cou'dna get. 

8 He's luppen on his berry-brown steed, 
Ta'en ner behind himsel'; 
Then baith rade down to that water 
That they call Wearie's Well. 

4 ** Wade in, wade in, my ladye fair, 

No harm shall thee beftdl; 
Oft times ha'e I water'd my steed 
With the water o' Wearie's Well." 

5 The first step that she steppit in. 

She steppit to the knee; 
And, sighin' sair, says this lady fair,— 
" This water's no for mo," 

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6 *' Wado in, wade in, my ladye fair, 

No harm shall thee befall ; 
Oft times ha'e I watered my steed 
With the water o' Wearie's Well." 

7 The next step that she steppit in. 

She steppit to the middle; 
And, sighin' sair, says this lady fair, — 
" IVe wet ray gowden girdle." 

8 " Wade in, wade in, my ladye fair, 

No harm shall thee befall ; 
Oft times ha'o I watered my steed 
With the water o' Woarie's Well." 

9 The next step that she steppit in, 

She steppit to the chin; 
And, sighin' sair, says this lady fair, — 
"They should gar twa loves twin." 

10 " Seven king's daughters IVo drown'd there, 

In the water o' Wearie's Well ; 
And I'll make ye the eight of them. 
And ring the common bell." 

11 " Since I am standin' here," she says, 

" This dowie death to dee. 
One kiss of your comelie mouth, 
Tm sure, wou'd comfort me." 

12 He louted him o'er his saddle-bow. 

To kiss her cheek and chin ; 
She 's ta'en him in her arms twa, 
And thrown him headlong in. 

13 " Shico seven king's daughters yo've drown'd there, 

In the water o' Wearie's Well, 
I'll make ye bridegroom to them all. 
And ring the bell mysel'." 

14 And aye she warsled, and aye she stravc, 

Till to dry land she swam; 
Then thankit God most cheerfullie, 
For the dangers she'd o'ercam*. 


From Buchan'B Ancient Ballads and Songs, voL i., p. 22, where it 
is entitled '* The Gowans sae Gay." 
Referring to this and the preceding ballad, Frofesscr Child 


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observes : — '^ It is possible that in both instances two independent 
fitoiies have been blended; but it is curious that the same inter- 
mixture should occur in Norse and German also." 

Professor Child regards the hero of the preceding ballad as a *' Nix, 
or Merman," that of the present being an Elf, "thoueh," as he 
correctly remarks, " the punishment awarded to each of them in the 
catastrophe, as the ballads now exist, is not consistent with their 
supernatural character." 

We shall have ** the Elf Knight introduced, under the same circum- 
stances," in a subsequent portion of this collection, — ''indeed, the 
first three or four stanzas are common to both pieces." — English and 
Scottish Ballads, vol i., p. 195. 

1 Fair Isabel sits in hor bowV sewing, 

Aye as the gowans grow gav; 
There she heard an elf knight blawing his horn, 
The first morning in May. 

2 " If I had but yon horn that I do hear, 

And yon elf knight wha blaws it to be my dear." 

8 This maiden had scarcely these words spoken, 
Till in at her window the elf knight has luppen. 

4 " It's a very strange matter, fair maiden," said he, 
*' I canna blaw my horn, but ye call on me. 

5 " But will ye go [with me] to yon greenwood side? 
If ye canna gang, I will cause you to ride." 

6 lie leapt on a horse, and slie on another. 
And they rodo on to the greenwood together. 

7 " Light down, light down, Lady Isabel," said he, 
** We are come to the place where ye are to dee." 

8 " Ha'e mercy, ha*e mercy, kind sir, on me. 
Till ance my dear father and mother I see." 

9 " Oh, it 's seven king's daughters here ha'e I slain. 
And ye shall [now here] be the eight of them." 

10 " Oh, sit down a while, lay your head on my knee. 
That wo may ha'e some rest before that I dee." 

11 She stroak'd him sae fast, the nearer he did creep, 
[And] with a small charm she lulPd him fast asleep. 

12 With his ain sword-belt sae fast as she bang him, 
With his ain dag-dirk sae sair as she dang him. 

13 " If seven king's daughters here ye ha'e slain, 
Lye ye here a husband to them ilk ane," 

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*^ This ballad, which contains some verses of merit, was taken down 
from recitation by Mr. William Laidlaw, tenant in Traquair-knowc. 
It contains a lesend which, in various shapes, is current in Scotland. 
I remember to liave heard a ballad, in which a fiend is introduced 
paying his addresses to a beautiful maiden ; but, disconcerted by the 
holy herbs which she wore in her bosom, makes the following lines 
the burden of his courtship :— 

' Gin ye wish to be leman mine, 
Lay aside the St John's ^ort and the Torvain.' 

•* The heroine of the following tale was unfortunately without any 
similar protection." — Scott's Minstrelsy, voL iii., j). 194. 

Mr. Motherwell reprinted the ballad in his Minstrelsy, pp. 92-95 ; 
but indicates his suspicion that Mr. Laidlciw *^ may have improved 
upon'* the "original; for, with all our industry," says he, ** we have 
not been able to find it in a more perfect state than this." Then 
follow nine verses, eight of them corresponding to verses 10, 11, 
16, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 25, of the ballad as iiere printed; and the last 
is inserted in the page following this. 

Mr. Buchan, however, with his usual good luck, proved himself 
more fortunate in hunting up the ballad than "the indefatigable 
editor of Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern;^* and he was "therefore 
happy " to have it in his " power to convince "his * * esteemed friend " 
that ''^0, perfect cop^y of this curious and scarce legend" still existed. 
"In this ballad, it is not a demon or a fiend that betrays [the 
heroine] Jeanie Douglas, but the spirit of her own first true love, 
James Herries." — Ancient Ballads and Songs, &c., voL i, Ballad, pp. 
214-218. Note, pp. 312-313. 

Professor Child, in his English and Scottish Ballads, vol. i, p. 209, 
quotes the following ludicrous "stanzas from a version of this ballad 
printed at Philadeljmia (and called *The House Carpenter')," as "given 
inGrah&WiB Illustrated Magazine, Sept., 1858: — 

'* ' I might have married the king's daughter dear; ' 
* You might have married her,' cried she, 
*For I am married to a house carpenter, 
And a fine young man is ho/ 

" 'Oh, dry up your tears, my own true love. 
And cease your weeping,' cried he; 
•For soon you'll see your own happy homo, 
On the banks of old Tennessee.^ ^' 

But these incongruous verses arc, in substance—with the exception 
of the crowning absurdity of the last two lines — derived from 
Buchan's version of the ballad, which latter winds up with the 
two following verses : — 

"The fatal flight of this wretched maid (?) 
Did reach her own countrie; 
Her husband then distracted ran, 
And this lament made he: 

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" '■ Oh, wae be to the ship, the ship, 
And wae be to the sea, 
And wae be to the marlnore, 
Took Jeanie Donglas frae mel' " 

Mr. Mothen^ell's fragment ends thus :— 

" They had not sailed a mile awa, 
Never a mile but four, 
When the little wee Bhip ran round about^ 
And never woe seen more ! " 

Professor Child remarks, that * * The Devil ( Auld Nick) here takes the 
place of the merman (Nix) of the ancient ballad," ante, p. 164 ; '* and 
the same natural substitution [is] noted in K. U, H, — M&rchen, 3d 
ed., iii, 253."— Jfc'ii^/wA and Scottish Ballads, vol. i, p. 201. Ho 
regards this and the two preceding ballads, '^ diverse as they may 
now appear, after undergoing successive corruptions,'* as "primarily 
of the same tyjio."— English and Scottish Ballads, vol. i., p. 198. 

1 " On, where have you been, my long-lost love, 

This long seven years and more ?" 
"Oh, I'm come to seek my former vows, 
That ye granted mo before.'* 

2 " Oh, hold your tongue of your former vows, 

For they now will breed sad strife ; 
Oh, hold your tongue of your former vows, 
For I am become a wife." 

3 Ho tum'd him right and round about, 

And the tear blinded his e'e; 
" I wou'd ne'er have trodden on Irish ground 
If it had not been for thee. 

4 "I might have had a king's daughter, 

Far, far beyond the sea; 
I might have had a king's daughter, 
Had it not been love of thcc." 

5 " If yo might have had a king's daughter, 

YerscP ye had to blame ; 
Yo might have taken the king's dauglitcr, 
For ye kenn'd that I was nane." 

G " Oh, false are the vows of womankind, 
But fair is their false bodie ; 
I wou'd ne'er have trodden on Irish groimd 
Had it not been love of thee. 

7 " For you I scom'd the crown of gold, 
The king's daughter also; 
And I am come for you, my love, 
So with me you must go. 

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8 " You must forsake your dear husbaud, 

And your young son also, 
With me to sail the raging seas, 
Where the stormy winds do blow.'* 

9 " Oh, what ha'e you to keep me with, 

If I shou'd with you go ? 
If I forsake my dear husband, 
And my young son also ?" 

10 " See ye not yon seven pretty ships— 

The eighth brought me to land — 
With merchandise and mariners, 
And wealth in every hand ? 

11 '* And I have slippers for my love's fcot, 

Covered with purest gold, 
And lined with velvet soft and fine, 
To keep you from the cold." 

12 She tum'd her round upon the shore, 

Her love's ships to behold ; 
The sails were silk, the masts and yards 
Were cover'd o'er with gold. 

13 Then she has gone to her young son, 

And kiss'd him cheek and chin ; 
Next to her sleeping husband gone, 
And done the same to him. 

14 She *8 drawn the slippers on her feet, 

Were cover'd o'er with gold, 
Well-lined within with velvet fine, 
To keep her frae the cold. 

15 She 's set her foot upon the ship; 

'Twas rigg'd with silk and gold; 
But no mariners, to sail the ship, 
On board cou'd she behold. 

16 "Oh, bow do you love the ship? " he said ; 

"Or how do you love the sea? 

And how do you love the mariners, 

That wait upon thee and me?" 

17 "Oh, I do love the ship," she said, 

"And I do love the sea; 
But woe be to the mariners 
That nowhere I can see." 

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18 They had not sail'd a mile away, 

Never a mile but one, 
When she began to weep and mourn, 
And to think on her young son. 

19 "Oh, if I were at land again. 

At land where I would be, 
The woman ne'er shou'd bear the son 
Shou'd gar me sail the sea.'' 

20 "Oh, hold your tongue, my sprightly flower, 

Let all your mourning be; 
I'll show you how the lilies grow 
On the banks of Italy." 

21 They had not sail'd away, away. 

It 's miles but barely two. 
Until she espy'd his cloven foot. 
From his gay robes stickin' thro'. 

22 "Oh, that gentle Death had cut my breath 

Ere I saw yester mom ! 
I had been buried in Scotish ground. 
Where I was bred and bom." 

23 "Ye'se ne'er be buried in Scotish ground, 

Nor land ye'se nao mair see; 
I brought you away to punish you. 
For breaking your vows to me. 

24 " I said you shou'd see the lilies grow 

On the banks of Italy; 
But I'll let you see the fishes swim 
In the bottom of the sea." 

25 She had not sail'd away, away. 

It 's leagues but barely three, 
When dismal grew his countenance, 
And raging grew the sea. 

26 The masts, that were like the beaten gold. 

Bent not on the heaving seas; 
And the sails, that were of the silk so fine, 
Fill'd not in the east land breeze. 

27 "Oh, what are yon pleasant hills," she said, 

" That the sun shines sweetly on ? " 
" Oh, yon are the hills of heav'n," he said, 
" Where you will never win." 

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28 **0h, what grim mountain is yon," she said, 
"All so dreary with frost and snow?" 
**0h, yon is the mountain of hell," he cried, 
" Where you and I will go I " 

20 And aye when she turned her round about, 
Aye taller he seemed to be; 
Until that the tops of that gallant ship 
Nae taller were than he. 

30 The clouds grew dark, and the wind grew loud. 
And the levin filled her e'e; 
And waesome wail'd the snow-white sprites 
Upon the raging sea. 

ol He struck the tnp-mast with his hand. 
The fore-mast with his knee; 
And he brake that gallant ship in twain, 
And sank her in the sea. 


From Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 124. 

Mr. Motherwell states: — "This fra^ent, we believe, has never 
before been printed. It was communicated to us by an ingenious 
friend, who remembered having heard it sung in his youth. A good 
many verses at the beginning, some about the middle, and one or two 
at the end, seem to be wanting. More sanguine antiquaries than wo 
are might, from the similarity of names, imagine they had in thid 
baUad discovered the original romance whence IShakespeare had given 
this line — 

' Chfld Bowlaod to the dark tower came.'— ^in^ Lear, Act 11 L 

**The story is of a very gloomy and superstitious texture. A 
young lady, on the eve of her marriage, invited her lover to a 
banquet, where she murders him, in revenge for some real or fancied 
neglect. Alarmed for her own safety, she betakes herself to flight, and 
in the course of her journey she sees a stranger knight riding slowly 
before her, whom she at first seeks to shun, by pursuing an opposite 
direction ; but on finding that wheresoever she turned he still apiM3ared 
between her and the moonlight, she resolves to overtake him. This, 
however, she finds in vain, till, of his own accord, he stays for her at 
the brink of a broad river. They agree to cross it ; and when in mid 
stream she implores his help to save her from drowning, to her horror 
she finds her fellow-traveller to be no other than the gaunt apparition 
of her dead lover." 

1 Sir Roland came to his ain love's bow'r. 
And he tirl'd at the pin; 
And sae ready was his fair fause lovo 
To rise and let him in. 

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*' Oh, welcome, welcome, Sir Roland," she says, 

** Thrice welcome thou art to me; 
For this night ye shall feast in my secret bowV, 
And to-morrow we'll wedded be." 

"This night is Hallow-e'en," he said, 

" And to-morrow is Hallow-day; 

And I drcam'd a drearie dream yestreen, 

That has made my heart full wae. 

" I dream'd a drearie dream yestreen, 

I wish it may come to gude ; 
I dream'd that ye slew my best grey-hound, 

And gied me his lapper'd blude." 

5 ''Unbuckle your belt. Sir lloland," she said, 
'* And set Vou safely down." 
" Oh, your chamber is very dark, fair maid, 
And the night is wondVous lown." 

G " Yes, dark, dark is my secret bowV, 
And lown the midnight may be; 
For there is none waking in all this tower. 
But thou, my true love, and me." 

7 Slie mounted on her true love's steed. 

By the ae light of the moon ; 
Slie whipp'd him on, she spurred him on, 
And roundly radc frae the toun. 

8 She hadna ridden a mile of gate, 

It 's never a mile but ane. 
When she was aware of a tall young man 
Hiding slowly o'er the plain. 

9 She turn'd her to the right about, 

Then to the left turn'd she; 
But aye between her and the wan moonlight. 
That tall knight did she see. 

10 And he was riding burd-alane. 

On a horse as black as jet; 
But though she followed him fast and lell, 
Nae nearer cou'd she get. 

11 " Oh, stop! oh, stop! young man," she said, 

" For I in dule am dight; 
Oh, stop! and win a fair lady's luvc, 
If ye be a leal true knight." 

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SIR ROLA^T). 173 

12 But nothing did the tall knight say, 

And nothing did he blin'; 

Still slowly rade ho on before, 

And fast she rade behin'. 

13 She whipped her steed, she spurr'd her steed, 

Till his breast was all in foam; 
But nearer unto that tall young knight 
The ladye cou'd not come. 

14 " Oh, if ye be a gay young knight, 

As well I trow you be, 
Pull tieht your bridle-reins, and stay 
Till I come up to thee.'* 

15 But nothing did that tall knight sav, 

And 110 whit did he blin', 
Until he reached a broad river's side. 
And there he drew his rein. 

10 " Oh, is this water deep? " she said, 
" As it is wondVous dun; 
Or is it sic as a saikless maid 
And a leal true knight may swim?" 

17 ''The water it is deep,'* ho said, 

** As it is wond'rous dun; 
But it is sic as a saikless maid 
And a leal true knight may swim." 

18 The knight spurred on his tall black steed. 

The lady spurr'd on her brown ; 
And fast they rade into the flood, 
And fast they baith swam down. 

19 " Tlie water weets my feet," she said, 

" The water weets my knee; 
Hold up my bridle reins. Sir Knight, 
For the sake of Our Ladye." 

20 " If I wou'd help you now," he said, 

" It were a deadly sin ; 
For IVe sworn ne'er to trust a fair May's word, 
Till the water weets her chin." 

21 " Oh, the water weets my waist," she said, 

" Sae does it weet my skin; 
And my aching heart rins round about,— 
The burn makes sic a din. 

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22 " The water is waxing deeper stUl, 

Sae does it wax mair wide; 
And aye the farther that we ride on, 
Farther off is the other side. 

23 " Oh, help me now, thou fause, fause knight! 

Have pity on my youth; 
For now the water jaws o'er my heid, 
And it gurgles in my mouth." 

21 The knight turn VI slowly round about, 
All in the middle stream; 
Then he stretch'd out his head to that ladye. 
And loudly she did scream 1 

25 "Oh, this is Hallow-morn,*' he said, 

" And it is your bridal day ; 
But sad would be that gay wedding, 
Were bridegroom and bride away. 

26 " But ride on, ride on, proud Margaret, 

Till the water comes o'er your bree ; 
For the bride maun ride deep and deeper yet, 
Wha rides this foord with me I 

27 " Turn round, turn round, proud Margaret, 

Turn round, and look on me I 
Thou hast kill'd a true knight under trust, 
And his ghost now links with thee." 


The following ballad forms the conclading portion of one under the 
above title, given by Mr. Bachan in his Ancient Ballade and Songs, 
voL iL, p. 259. 

The prior portion is simply a different and very inferior version of 
a well-known and highly popular ballad published by Herd, under 
the title of ** The Gray Cock," and beginmng — 

'* Oh, B&w ye my fatlier, or naw ye my mother, 
Or saw ye my true loTe JohnT" 

The connection between the portions probably resulted from the con- 
fused remembrance and accidental combination of some reciter. 

1 As Willie gaed o'er yon high, high hill, 
And down yon dowie den. 
Oh, there he saw a grievous ghost, 
Wou'd fear ten thousand men. 

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THE knight's ghost. 175 

As he gaed in by Mary kirk, 

And in by Mary etile, 
Wan and weary was the ghost 

On him did griinly smile. 

" Oft ha'e ye travell'd this road, Willie, 

Oft ha'e ye travell'd in sin ; 
Nor thought what wou'd come of your puir soul, 

When your sinfu' life was dune. 

" Oft ha'e ye travell'd this road, Willie, 

Your bonnie new love to see ; 
Oft ha'o ye travell'd this road, Willie, 

Nor thought of puir wrang'd me. 

" Oft ha'e yo travell'd this road, Willie, 

Your bonnie new love to see ; 
But ye'll never travel this road again, 

For this night avenged I'll be." 

Then she has ta'en her perjured love, 

And rave him gair by gair ; 
And on ilka side of Mary's stile. 

Of him she hung a share. 

His father and mother baith made moan, 

His new love meikle mair; 
His father and mother baith made moan, 

His new love rave her hair. 


From Bu chants Ancient Ballads, &c, voL i, p. 227. He remarks 
that "this ghost was a generous and liberal one m many respects." — 
Note, p. 314. 

1 " There is a fashion in this land. 

And even come to this countrie. 

That every lady shou'd meet her lord, 

When he is newly come frae sea. 

2 " Some with hawks and some with hounds, 

Or other seemly thing to see; 
But I will ffae to meet my lord. 
And set his young son on his knee." 

3 She 's ta'en her young son in her arms, 

And nimbly walk'd by yon sea-strand; 
And there she spied her husband^s ship, 
Ab it came saDing to the land. 

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4 " Where ha'e ye put my ain gude lord? 

Oh, whereabout may mjr gude lord be?" 
" If ye be wanting your am gude lord, 
A.sight of him ye'U never see." 

6 " Was he burnt, or was he slain? 

Or was he drown*d in the deep sea? 
Or what 's become of my ain gude lord. 
That he comes not to meet with me?" 

6 " Oh, your guid lord he wasna burnt, 

Nor was he drown'd in the deep sea; 
But he was slain in Dunfermline, — 
A fatal day to you and me." 

7 '' Come in, come in, my meiTy young men, 

Come in and drink the wine with me ; 
And all the better ye shall fare, 
For this gude news ye tell to me." 

8 She brought them down to a low cellar, 

She brought them fifty steps and three; 
She birl'd them with the beer and wine, 
Till they were as drunk as drunk cou'd bo. 

9 Then she has lock'd her cellar door, 

At the head of the fifty steps and three, — 
" Lve there with my sad malison, 
For this bad news ye've tauld to me." 

10 She 's ta'en the keys into her hand, 

And threw them deep, deep in the sea, — 
" Lye there with my sad malison, 
Till my gude lord return to me." 

11 Then she sat dowTi in her ain room. 

And sorrow lull'd her fast asleep; 

When up it starts her ain gude lord, 

As she sat there in slumber deep. 

12 '* Take here the keys, Janet," he says, 

" That ye threw deep, deep in the sea, 

And gae relieve my merry young men, — 

They're nane to blame for death of me. 

13 " They shot the bolt, and drew the stroke, 

And in red blude waded to the knee ; 

Nae sailors mair for their lord cou'd do, 

Nor my young men they did for me." 

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14 "I ha'e a question at you to ask, 

Before that ye depart frae me; 
Tell me how lang I ha'e to live, 
And the kind of death I ha'e to dec." 

15 "I ha'e nae mair of God's ain power 

Than He has granted unto mc ; 

But come to heaven when ye will, 

There porter to you I will be. 

16 " But ye'll be wed to a finer knight 

Than ever was in my degree; 
Unto him ye'll ha'e children nine, 
And six of them will be ladies free. 

17 " The other three will be bold young men, 

To fight for king and for countrie : 
The ane a duke, the second a knight, 
The third a laird of lands sae free." 


"Proud Lady Margaret" is the title of a ballad " commimicated 
to" Sir Walter Scott, "bv Mr. Hamilton, musicseller, Edinburgh, 
with whose mother it had been a favourite. Two verses and one Ime 
were wanting, which are hero supplied from a different ballad, 
havine a plot somewhat similar. These verses are the sixth and 
ninth" of the version in Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iii., p. 32, and 
correspond to the last four lines respectively of stanzas 14 and 17, 
aa here printed. 

"The Courteous Knight" is the title of **a ballad simihvr in 
incident," but more complete "in narrative," printed in Bnchan's 
Ancient Ballads and Songa^ vol. i., pp. 91-97. 

Another version, under the title of "The Bonny Hind Squire," is 
given in Scottish Traditional Versions of Ancient BalladSf p. 42. The 
present is collated from the two first-named versions. 

1 'TwAS on a night, an evening bright, 

When the dew began to fall, 
Lady Margaret was walking up and down, 
Looking o'er her castle wall. 

2 She looked east, and she looked west, 

To see what she could spy, 
When a gallant knight came in her sight. 
And to the gate drew nigh. 

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3 " Grod make you safe and free, fair maid, 

God make you safe and free I " 
" Oh, sae fall you, ye courteous knight, 
What are your wills with me? " 

4 " My wills with you are not small, lady, 

My wills with you nae small. 
And since there 's nane your bowV within, 
Ye'se ha'e ray secrets all. 

6 " For here am I, a courtier, 
A courtier come to thee I 
And if ye winna grant your love, 
All for your sake I'll dee." 

6 " If that ye dee for me, Sir Knight, 

Few for you will make meen, 
For mony gude lord's done the same, 
. Their graves are growing green." 

7 ** Oh, winna ye pity me, fair maid? 

Oh, winna ye pity me ? 
Oh, winna ye pity a courteous knight. 
Whose love is laid on thee ? " 

8 " You seem to be no gentleman. 

You wear your boots so wide ; 

But you seem some cunning hunter, 

You wear your horn so syde."* 

9 " I am no cunning hunter," he said, 

" Nor ne'er intend to be; 
But I am come to this castlo 
To seek the love of thee." 

10 "Ye say ye are a courteous knight. 

But I think ye are nane ; 
Ye seem to be some false young man, 
Sae I pray ye begane." 

11 " Indeed, I am a courteous knight. 

And of great pedigree ; 
Nae knight did mair for a lady bright 
Than I will do for thee. 

12 " Oh, I'll put smiths in your smithy, 

To shoe for you a steed ; 
And I'll put tailors in your bow'r, 
To mate for you a weed. 

♦ "Syde:" Ions or low. 

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18 " I will put cooks in your kitchen, 
And butlers in your ha' ; 
And on the tap of your father's castle, 
I'll big gude corn and saw." 

14 '* If ye be a courteous knight, 

As I trust not ye be, 
Ye'U answer me the three questions 

That I will ask at thee ; 
And but ye read them right," she said, 

" Gae stretch ye out and dee. 

15 " What is the flower, the fairest flower, 

That grows in mire or dale? 
Likewise, which is the sweetest bird 

Sings next the nightingale ? 
Or what 's the finest thing," she says, 

" That king or queen can wale?" 

16 " The primrose is the fairest flower 

That grows in muir or dale ; 
The mavis is the sweetest bird 

Next to the nightingale ; 
And yellow gowd is the finest thing 

That king or queen can wale." 

17 "Ye may be my match, kind sir, 

Your answers they are sound ; 
But what 's the little coin," she said, 

" Wou'd buv my castle bound ? 
And what 's the little boat," she said, 

" Can sail the world all round ? " 

18 " Oh hey, how many small pennies 

Make thrice three thousand pound ? 
Or hey, how many small fishes 
Swmi all the salt sea round ? " 

19 " I think ye are my match," she said, 

" My match and something mair; 
You are the first e'er got the grant 
: Of love frae my father's heir. 

20 *' Mv father was lord of nine castles, 

My mother lady of three ; 
My father was lord of nine castles. 

And there 's nane to heir but me, 
Unless it be Willie, my ae brother, 

But he 'b far beyond the sea," 

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21 " Your father was lord of nine castles, 

Your mother lady of three ; 
And I am Willie, your ae brother, 

Was far beyond the sea: 
I come to humble your hau^ifhty heart, 

Has gar'd sae mony dee." 

22 " If ye be my brother Willie," she said, 

" As I trow well ye be, 
This night Til neither eat nor drink, 
But gae alang with thee." 

23 " YeVe ower ill-washen feet, MargVet, 

And ower ill-washen hands. 
And ower coarse robes on your body, 
Alang with me to gang.* 

24 " The worms they are my bedfellows, 

And the cauld clay my sheet; 
And the higher that the wind does blaw, 
The sounder I do sleep. 

25 " My body 's buried in Dumfermline, 

And far beyond the sea. 
But day nor night nae rest could got, 
All for the pride of thee. 

26 " Leave aff your pride, Marg'ret," he says, 

" Use it not ony mair; 
Or when ye come where I ha'e been, 
You will repent it sair. 

27 ** Cast aff, cast aff, sister," he says, 

" The gowd lace frae your crown ; 
For if ye gang where I ha'e been, 
Ye'll wear it laigher down. 

28 " When j^o arc in the gude church set, 

The gowd pins in your hair, 
Ye take mair delight in your feckless dress, 
Than ye do in your morning prayer. 


" And when ye walk in the churchyard, 

And in your dress are seen, 
There is nae lady that sees your face, 

But wishes your grave were green. 

* "^X?°' °^' ^^^ Margaret" he said, 
ph» no I that canna bo ; 
You ve ower Ul-washon feet and hands. 
To gang alang with me." ^ 

-Slightly alterod from ScoUuh Tram<mal Vmions o/Ancitnt BaHad$, 

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30 " You're straight and tall, hAndsome withal, 

But your pride overgrows your wit; 
And if ye do not your wajrs refrain, 
In peerie ♦ chair ye'U sit. 

31 " In peerie chair you'll sit, I say, 

The lowest seat of hell; 
If ye do not amend your ways. 
It 's there that ye must dwell." 

32 With that he vanished frae her sight, 

With the twinkling of an eye; 
And naething mair the lady saw, 
But the gloomy clouds and sky. 


Thi3 ballad may ho found as under:— 

I. ** In a volume in the Pepysian Library, bound up with Blind 
Harry's Wallace, Edin., 1673. 12mo; *The Battle of 
Glenfivet,' a Scotish tragic ballad, printed 1681, 12mo. 
In the same volume is the challenge of Bobert III. of 
Scotland, to Henry IV. of England, beginning 'During 
the reign of the Roy Bobert 't Here is also ' The Hunting 
of Chevy Chace,' in black-letter, in the Scotish way of 
reading the altered stanzas. It is to the tune of ' The YIo 
of Kyle.'" — Finkerton's AncieM Scotish Poems from the 
MaiUand MS8., Appendix, vol. ii., p. 496. 

The title of the present ballad, as there ^iven, is, " ' The 
Wind hath Blawn my Plaid awa : or, a Discourse betwixt 
a Young Maid and the Elphin Knisht,' black-letter, 
printed," says Pinkerton, ** I suppose, about 1670." 

*'A literal copy from the original in the Pepysian 
Library, Cambridge," appears in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 
Appendix i., p. 1. 
IL A second version is given in The Commonplace Booh of 
Ancient and Modem Ballads, and Metrical Legendary 
Tales, &c — ** a projected work (edited by David Webster, 
Edinburgh) which reached no farther than the first 

* "Peerie.** The original reads *' Pirie's," a word which has completely nonplnased 
Soottsh ballad editors sabseqnent to Mr. BuchaD, In whose Tenum it appears. It 
should he spelled as above, and means "fearful;^ old French, peureux^ ''fearfuL" 
The word may also hare some connection with "peary/' inquisitive^ dtmosed to 
ammitu narrtMiiy; Knglish, to peer. As the word "pirrie^* means tiim^ nice tn (2r«M, 
or pemiekitie^ the ghost may have meant, by a play upon words, to warn "Proud 
Margaret " that her being so " pirrie " would end in a fate " peerie "—or f earfuL 

t This poem Is mentioned in The Complavnt of Scotland, 1549; ocenrs in the Mait- 
land Ma, 16W-S6; incloded by Watson in bis Collection of Scots Poems, part ii., p. ill: 
and somewhat dabionsly referred to and numbered by Mr, Mothorweu as a ballad 
in his MiMtnUsy^ IntroducUon, p. IxL 

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number. The only thing remarkable in which is," 
says Motherwell, *' that the editor states he gives it from 
the recitation of two ladies, one of whom is his own 
mother, and the other an honest fishwife of Masselburgh." 
— Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. xcix., note 148. 

III. A third version appears in Kinloch's Ancient Scottish 

Ballads, p. 145, under the title of "The Elfin Knicht," 
as ''given from the recitation of a native of Meamshire.*' 

IV. A fourth version is furnished by Mr. Buchan, in Andent 

Ballads and Songs, vol. ii., p. 296, under the title of 
''The Fairy Knight'' Mr. Buchan states that he had 
"seen more than one (copy) in MS.," note, p. 346. 

The ballad, as here given, is collated from the four versions named 
above. The different refrains are also here represented, — ^viz., that 
of versions L and IL in stanza 1, Kinloch's in stanza 2, and Buclian'a 
in stanza 3. 

"Similar collections of impossibilities" occur in other Scotish, 
English, and German ballads. — See Professor Child's English and 
Scottish Ballads, vol. i., p. 128. 

1 The elfin knight stands on yon hill — 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba ; 
Ho blaws hifl horn baith loud and shrill — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

2 He blawB it east, he blaws it west — 

O'er the hills and far awa ; 
lie blaws it where he liketh best — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

3 Fair Is'bel sits in her bow'r sewinj^— 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw, 
And hears the elf knight his horn blowing — 
The wind hath blawn ray plaid awa. 

4 " If I had the horn that I hear blaw— 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba, 
And had the knight here, in my arms twa — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

5 *' I wou'd lock llie born up in my chest — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw. 
And the knight wou'd lock me to his breast — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa." 

C Slie had no sooner these words said— 
Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba, 
Than the elfin knight stood by her side — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

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7 " You are too young a May," quoth he— 

"Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw; 
Married with me, you ill wou'd be — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa." 

8 "I have a sister, a younger May— 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba, 
And she was married yesterday — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa." 

9 " Married with me, if you wou'd be — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw, 
A courtesy you must do me— 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

10 " You must make me a Holland sark — 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba, 
Without any cutting or needle wark — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

11 " And you must wash it in yonder well— 

O'er the hills and far awa, 
Where dew never wet, nor rain ever fell— 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

12 "And you must dry it on yon hawthorn — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw, 
That never budded since man was born — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa." 

13 "If that courtesie I do to thee — 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba. 
Another you must do to me — 
The wmd hath blawn my plaid awa. 

14 " I have an acre of good lea land — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw, 
Which lyeth low by yon sea strand — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid a^va. 

15 " And you must till it with your horn — 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba; 
And you must sow it with pepper corn — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

16 " And you must harrow it with a thorn — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw, 
And ha'e your wark done ere tlie morn — 
The wind liath blawn ray plaid awa. 

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17 " And you must shear it with your knife— 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba; 
Nor tyne a grain o't for your life — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa, 

18 " You must bigg a cart of stone and lime— 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw, 
And make Robin Redbreast trail it betimo— 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

19 " And you must bring it frae the sea— 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba, 
Fair, and clean, and dry, to me— - 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa, 

20 " And you must barn it in yon mouse-hole — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw ; 
And you must thrash it in your shoe sole — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

21 " And you must winnow it in your looves— 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba,baj 
And you must sack it in your gloves— 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

22 " And you must dry it without a fire on — 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw; 
And grind it without a mill or a quern — 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa. 

23 '' And when you have well done your work— 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba, 
Come back to me and get your sork — 
The wind hath blawn my ploid awa." 

24 *' I wouM not tync my plaid for my life— 

Blaw, blaw, blaw, ye cauld winds, blaw ; 
It haps my seven bairns and my wife — 
The wind shall not blaw my plaid awa." 

25 " Then a maiden I will keep me still — 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba, ba ; 
Let the elfin knight do what he will— 
The wind shall not blaw my plaid awa. 

26 " My plaid awa, my plaid awa, 

O'er the hills and far awa, 
And far aw^a, to Norrowa', 
My plaid shall not be blawn awa." 

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Fn)m Buchan's J Ttci^Ti^ Ballads and Songs^ vol. i., p. 117; and note, 
p. 301. Leyden, in his "Preliminary Dissertation" to 71ie Com- 
playnt of Scotland, p. 234, referring to "The Tale of the Wolf of 
the Warldis End," remarks: — "I have heard fragments of songs 
repeated, in which the * well of the warldis end ' is mentioned, and 
denominated 'the well Absalom,' and 'the cald weU sae weary.' 
According to the popular tale, a lady is sent by her stepmother to 
draw water from the well of the world's end. She arrives at the 
well after encountering many dangers, but soon perceives that her 
adventures have not reached a conclusion. A irog emerges from 
the well, and before it suffers her to draw water, obliges her to 
betroth herself to the monster, under penalty of being torn to 
pieces. The lady returns safe; but at midnight the frog-lover 
api^ean at the door and demands entrance, according to promise, 
to the great consternation of the lady and her nurse : — 

" ' Opon the door, my hlnny, my hart, 
Open tho door, mine ain wee thing. 
And mind the words that you and I spak 
Down In the meadow, at the well-spring.' 

" The frog is admitted, and addresses her— 

" 'Take me up on yonr knee, my dearie, 
Take me np on your knee, my deario, 
And mind the woi'ds that you and I 8pak 
At the cauld well sae wearie.* 

"The frog is finally disenchanted, and appears as a prince in his 
original form.'' 

The story of "The Paddo," in Dr. Robert Chaml>er8'8 Popular 
Jthymes of Scotland, p. 87, last edition, is almost identical ; and Mr. 
Buchan's story is also essentially the same, but terminates differently. 
His prose explanation is to the following effect: — Shortly after 
the maid's return, the genius appeared "at the door, singin^ the 
first four lines of the son^, and was admitted. In the second four 
lines he craves, as his due, the castock or stem, — having had coleworte 
for their supper, a disli common to the peasantry of Scothmd. In 
the third four lines, he asks his brose (oatmeal, and the decoction of 
the coleworts stirred together). In the fourtli four lines, lie requests 
the kail; and in the fifth four lines, he petitions the maid to lay him 
down in a bed, putting her in mind at the same time of the favour he 
had done her at the 'well sae wearie.' The old woman, who ere 
now had been a silent spectator to all that was passing, got enraeed, 
and commanded her daughter to throw him out of the house — which 
was instantly done. The sixth and last four lines conclude the piece 
with his prayers or malison for her woe, and an opportunity of having 
her again in his power at the ' well sae weary.' " 

1 Oh, open the door, my honey, my heart, 
Oh, open the door, my ain kina dearie ; 
For dinna yo mind upon the time 

We met in the wood at the well sae wcario? 

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2 Oh, gi'e me my castock, my dow, my dow, 

Oh, gi'e me my castock, my ain kind dearie; 
For dinna ye mind upon the time 
Wo met in the wood at the well sae weario? 

8 Oh, gi'e me my brose, my dow, my dow, 

Oh, gi'e me my brose, my ain kmd dearie; 
For dinna ye mind upon the time 
We met in the wood at the well sae wearie? 

4 Oh, gi'e me my kail, my dow, my dow, 

Oh, gi'e me my kail, my ain kind dearie ; 
For dinna ye mind upon the time 
We met in the wood at the well sae weario? 

5 Oh, lay me down, my dow, my dow, 

Oh, lay me down, ipy ain kind dearie; 
For dinna ye mind upon the time 
We met in the wood at the well sae wearie? 

G Oh, woo to you now, my dow, my dow, 

Oh, woe to you now, my fause, fause dearie; 
And oh for the time I had you again. 
Plunging the dubs at the well sae wearie. 


"The following ballad, still popular in Ettrick Forest, where the 
scene is laid, is certainly of much greater antiquity than its phrase- 
ology, gradually modernized as transmitted by tradition, would seem 
to denote. The *Tayl of the Young Tamleno' is mentioned in the 
Complaynt of Scotland [1548], and the air, to wliich it was chaunted, 
seems to have been accommodated to a particular dance, — for the 
dance of 'Thorn of Lynn,* another variation of * Thomalin,* likewise 
occurs in the same performance. Like every popular subject, it 
seems to have been frequently parodied; and a burlesque baUad, 

'Tom 0' the Linn was a Scotimian bom,' 

is still well known. 

"In a medley, contained in a curious and ancient MS. cantus, penen 
J, G. Dalyell, Esq., there is an allusion to our ballad:— 

'Sing yonng Thomlin, be morry, be merry, and twice so morry/ 

"In Herd's Scottish Songs, vol. i., p. 159, a part of the original talo 
was published, under the title of *Kerton IlaV— a corruption of 

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**In Johnston's Musical Museum, vol. v., p. 423, a more complete 
copy occurs, under the title of *Tam Linn,* which, with some 
alterations, was reprinted in the Tdlen of Wonder , No. 58." — Scott's 
Minstrelsy y vol ii., p. 331. 

Sir Walter Scott 's edition was ** prepared from a collation of the 
printed copies with a very accurate one in Glenriddell's MSS., and 
with several recitals from tradition," but contains some stanzas 
"supnlied by some ingenious gentleman residing near Langholm, 
[whicn] are clearly suppositious, and ought to be omitted." — Mother- 
well's Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. Ixxii., note 31. 

Subsequent to the'publication of Scott's Minstrelsy, a fragment, undci 
the title of "Burd Ellen and Young Tamlane," appeared in Maid 
ment's North Countrie Garland, p. 21, as "taken down from therecitaf 
tion of a lady who had heard it sung in childhood." Complete version* 
are also given in Maidment's New Booh of Old Ballads, p. 54, as 
** taken down from the recitation of an old woman ; " and in Scottish 
Traditional Versions of Ancient Ballads, t>. 11, under the respective 
titles of "Tom linn," and "Tam-a-Line, the Elfin Knicht." 
Sir Walter Scott's version is the one here chiefly followed ; and the 
stanzas referred to by Mr. Motherwell are retained, but placed 
within brackets. Regarding the stanzas in question, Sir Walter Scott 
states : — "The editor has b^n enabled to add several verses of beauty 
and interest to this edition of * Tamlane,' in consequence of a copy, 
obtained from a gentleman residing near Langholm, which is said to 
be very ancient, though the diction is somewliat of a modem cast. 
The manners of the fairies are detailed at considerable length, and in 
poetry of no common merit." 

"Carterhaugh," continues Sir Walter Scott, "is a plain at the 
conflux of l£e Ettrick and Yarrow, in Selkirkshire, about a 
mile above Selkirk, and two miles below Newark Castle, a 
romantic ruin, which overhangs the Yarrow, and which is said to 
have been the habitation of our heroine's father, though others 
place his residence in the tower of Oakwood. The peasants 
point out, upon the plain, those electrical rings which vulgar 
credulity supposes to be traces of the fairy revels. Here, they say, 
were placed the stands of milk and of water in which Tamlane was 
dippea, in order to effect the disenchantment [as directed in stanza 
35]; and upon these spots, according to their mode of expressing them- 
selves, the grass will never grow. Miles Cross (perhaps a corruption 
of Mary's Cross), where fair Janet awaited the arrival of the fairy 
train, is said to have stood near the Duke of Bucdeuch's seat of 
Bow-hill, about half a mile from Carterhaugh. In no part of 
Scotland, indeed, has the belief in fairies maintained its ground 
with more pertinacity than in Selkirkshire. The most sceptical 
among the lower ranks only venture to assert that their appearances 
and mischievous exploits have ceased, or at least become iim'cquent, 
since the light of the gospel was diffused in its purity. " 

1 " Oh, I forbid ye, maidens all, 
That wear gowd on your hair, 
To come or gae by Carterhaugh, 
For young Tamlane is there." 

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2 But up then spake lier, fair Janet, 

The fairest of her kin : 
" I'll come and gang to Carterhaugh, 
And ask nae leave of him." 

3 Then she has kilted her green kirtle * 

A little abune her knee ; 
And she has braided her yellow hair 
A little abune her bree. 

4 And to the wood of Carterhaugh 

She hied her forth alane, 
To pull the roses frae the tree, 
In spite of young Tamlane. 

5 She hadna puU'd a red, red rose, 

A rose but barely three, 
When up and starts a wee, wee man, 
At Lady Janet's knee I 

G Says — ** Why pull ye the rose, Janet? 
What gars ye break the tree? 
Or why come ye to Carterhaugh 
Without the leave of me?" 

7 " Oh, I v/ill pull the flowers," she said, 

" Or I will break the tree. 
And come and gang to Carterhaugh, 
Nor ask nae leave of thee." 

8 ETe 'b ta'en her by the milk-white hand, 

Amang the leaves sae green ; 
And meikle, meikle was the love 
That fell the twa between. 

9 lie 's ta'en her by the milk-white hand, 

Amang the roses red; 
And they ha'e vow'd a solemn vow 
Ilk ither for to wed. 

10 " The truth ye'll tell to me, Tamlane, 
A word ye maunna lee; 
If e*er ye was in haly kirk, 
Or sained f in Chnstentie ? " 

• "The JBdloB are always represented, in Dunbar's poems, with ffreen mantles and 
yellow haIr."-PInkortotf 8 Andent Scotish Poems JivnCthe MaitlanifMS&,^ tTp. isJ 
t "Sained: " blessed; not haHowed^ or mode holy, as often explained. 

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11 " The truth I'll tell to thee, Janet, 

A word I winna lee ; 
I was ta'en to the haly kirk, 
And sained as well as thee. 

12 " Randolph, Earl Murray, was my sire, 

Dunbar, Earl March, is thine ; 
We lov'd when we were children small, 
Which yet you well may min*. 

13 " When I was a boy just tum'd of nine. 

My uncle sent for me, 
To hunt, and hawk, and ride with him. 
And keep him companie. 

14 " There came a wind out of the north, 

A sharp wind and a snell; 
A dead sleep then came over me, 
And frae my horse I fell. 

15 " Tlie fairy queen she keppit * mc, 

And took me to hersel , 
And ever since, in yon green hill. 
With her I'm bound to dwell, 

IG ['* And we that live in fairyland, 
Nae sickness know nor pain ; 
I quit my body when I will, 
And take to it again. 

17 "I quit my body when I please, 

Or unto it repair ; 
We can inhabit at our ease 
In either earth or air. 

18 " Our shapes and size we can convert 

To either large or small ; 
An old nut-shell 's the same to us 
As is the lofty hall. 

19 " We sleep in rosebuds soft and sweet. 

We revel in the stream. 
We wanton lightly on the wind. 
Or glide on a sunbeam. 

20 '' And all our wants are well supplied 

From every rich man's store. 
Who thankless sins the gifts he get8,f 
And vainly grasps for more.] 

•"Keppit:" caught 

t To ' sin " onr gifts and mercies, meann, ungratefully to hold them in light esteem. 

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21 " And it is sic a bonnie place, 

And I like it sae well, 
That I wou'd never tire, Janet, 
In fairyland to dwell. 

22 ** But aye, at ilka seven years, 

They pay the teind to hell; 
And I'm sae fat and fair of flesh, 
I fear 'twill be myseV I 

23 " This night is Hallow-e'en, Janet, 

The mom is Hallow-day, 
And if ye dare your true love win. 
Ye ha*e nae time to stay. 

21 " The night it is good Hallow-e'en, 
When fairy folk will ride ; 
And she that wou'd her true love win, 
At Miles Cross she maun bide. 

25 " And ye maun gao to the Miles Cross, 
Between twelve hours and one. 
Take haly water in your hand. 
And cast a compass roun'." 

2G " And how shall I thee ken, Tamlane ? 
And how shall I thee khaw, 
Amang sae many fairy folk, 
The like^ I never saw ? " 

27 " The first company that passes by, 

Stand still, and let them gae ; 
The neist company that passes by. 
Stand still, and do right sae. 

28 " The third company that passes by, 

All clad in robes of green, 

It is the head ane of them all. 

For in it rides the queen. 

29 " I'll there ride on the milk-white steed, 

With a gold star in my crown; 
Because I was a christen'd knight. 
They gi'e me that renown. 

SO " First let pass the black, Janet, 
And syne let pass the brown j 
But grip ye to tne milk-white steed, 
And pull the rider down. 

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31 " My right hand will be gloved, Janet, 

My left hand will be bare ; 
And these the tokens I gi'e thee, 
If ye wou'd win me there. 

32 " They'll turn me in your arras, Janet, 

An adder and a snake; 
Bat hand me fast, let mc not pass, 
If ye wou'd be my maik.* 

33 " They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, 

An adder and an aske ; f 
They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, 
A bale J that burns fast. 

31 ** They'll turn me in your arms, Janet, 
A red-hot gad of aim ; § 
But baud me fast, let me not pass, 
For ril do you no harm. 

35 " First dip me in a stand of milk, 
And then in a stand of water ; 
But baud mo fast, let me not pass, — 
1*11 be your bairn's father. 

3G " And next, they'll shape me in your arms 
A tod, but and an eel ; 
But baud me fast, nor let me gang. 
As you do love me weel. 

37 ** They'll shape me in your arms, Janet, 

A dove, but and a swanj 
And last they'll shape me m your arms 
A mother-naked man. 

38 " Cast your green mantle over me, 

I'll be mysel' again ; 
Cast your green mantle over me, 
And sae I will be wan." 

39 Gloomy, gloomy was the night, 

And eerie || was the way. 
As fair Janet, in her green mantle. 
To Miles Cross she did gae. 

• "Maik:" sweetheart, wife. 5 "Gad of aim: " bar of iron. 

t "Aflko:*' newt I "Eerie:" producing Buperstitloafi 

t "Bole:" fagot ^'•^ 

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40 [The heavens were black, the Dight was dark, 

And dreary was the place ; 
But Janet stood with eager wish, 
Her lover to embrace. 

41 Betwixt the hours of twelve and one, 

A north wind tore the bent ; 
And straight she heard strange elritch sounds, 
Upon that wind which went. 

42 About the dead hour of the night, 

She heard the bi-idles ring ; 
And Janet was as glad of that 
As any earthly thing. 

43 Their oaten pipes blew wondrous shrill. 

The hemlock small blew clear. 
And louder notes from hemlock largo 

And bog-reed struck the ear ; 
But solemn sounds or sober thoughts 

The fairies cannot bear. 

44 They sing, inspired with love and joy, 

Like skylarks in the air ; 
Of solid sense, or thought that *s grave, 
You1l find no traces there. 

45 Fair Janet stood, with mind unmoved, 

Tlie dreary heath upon ; 
And louder, louder wax'd the sound. 
As they came riding on. 

4G Will of the Wisp before them went, 
Sent forth a twinkling light ; 
And soon she saw the fairy bands 
All riding in her sight.] 

47 With haly water in her hand. 

She cast a compass round, 
As she beheld the fairy band 
Come riding o'er the mound. 

48 And first gaed by the black, black steed, 

And then gaed by the brown ; 
But fast she gripp'd the milk-white steed, 
And puird the rider down. 

49 She puird him frae the milk-white steed, 

And let the bridle fall j 

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TilE WEE, \\E£ MAN. 19o 

And up there raise an elritch* cry, — 
" He's won amang tis allT' 

50 They shaped him in fair Janet's arms 

An aske, but and an adder; 
She held him fast in every shape, 
To be her bairn's father. 

51 They sliaped him in her arms at last 

A mother-naked man ; 
She cuist f her mantle over him, 
And sae her true love wan. 

52 Up then spake the fairy queen, 

Out of a bush of broom, — 
" She that has borrowed young Tamlano 
Has got a stately groom I" 

53 Up then spake the fairy queen, 

Out of a bush of rye, — 
" She's ta'en away the bonniest knight 
In all my companie ! 

54 " But had I kenn'd, Tamlane," she says, 

** A lady wou'd borrow thee, 
I wou'd ha'o ta'en out thy twa gray eon, 
Put in twa een of tree I 

55 "Had I but kenn'd, Tamlane," she says, 

" Before ye came frae hame, 
I wou'd ta'en out your heart of flesh, 
Put in a heart of stane ! 

5G " Had I but had the wit yestreen 
That I ha'e coft % this day, 
I'd paid my kane§ seven times to hell, 
Ere you'd been won away !" 


Four versions of this ballad, differing only slightly from each 
other, have appeared in the under-named works : in the three first, 
under the above title, and in the last» under the title of '*The little 

I. Herd's Scottish Songs, &c, vol. i, p. 95. 
IL Caw's Poetical Museum, p. 34S. 

• Unearthly. J "Coft:" bought 

t Threw. $ " Kane :" payment to feudal superionk 

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III. Motherwell's MtrisireUy, p. 343. 

IV. Buchan's Ancient Ballads, vol. i., p. 203. 

Herd's version is given in Johnson's Museum^ vol. iv., p. 382, 
accompanied with the old melody to which it was sang. Both 
words and music were copied by Hitson in his Scottish Songs, vol. ii., 
p. 139 ; and in his Historical Essay on Scottish Song, p. Ixxzii. (prefixed 
to the same work), he refers to this piece in these terms: — ** There 
is one song, or rather fragment of one, which seems to merit 
particular attention, from a sin^ar evidence of its origin and 
antiquity. It is inserted in the present collection under the title of 
* The Wee, Wee Man,* and begins,— 

' Ab I was walking all alone.' 

"The oridnal of this song is extant in a Scottish or Northumbrian 
poem of Edward the First or Second's time, preserved in the British 
Museum, and intended to be one day given to the public. The two 
pieces will be found to afford a curious proof how poetry is preseryed 
for a succession of ages by mere tradition ; for though the imi^ry or 
description is nearly the same, the words are altogether different ; 
nor, had the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer been preserved to the 
X>resent time in the same manner, would there have remained one 
single word which had fallen from the pen of that venerable bard; 
they woald have been as completely, though not quite so elegantly, 
modernized as they are by Dryden and Pope.'* 

This passage appears to have been unknown to, or fors^otten by, 
Sir Walter Scott, when he published the first edition of his Minstrelsy; 
as, in subsequent editions, he explains, in his introduction to 
"Tamlane," that "in one recital only the well-known fragment 
of * The Wee, Wee Man ' was introduced in the same measure with 
the rest of the poem. It^was retained in the first edition, but is now 
omitted, as the editor has been favoured, by the learned Mr. Kitsou 
with a copy of the original poem of which it is a detached fragment.' 
The poem here referred to by Mr. Bitson and Sir Walter Scott follows 
"The Wee, Wee Man.'* 

1 As I was walking all alaue, * 

Between a water and a wa', 
There I espv'd a wee, wee man, — 
He was the least that e'er I saw. 

2 His legs were scarce a sbathmont's* longth,o 

And small and nimble was his thie ; ** 
Between his e en there was a span ; 
Between his shoulders there were three.* 

' ** Ab I gaed out to tak' the air, 

Between Midmar and boiinie Craigba\*'^£uchan 
& "Shathmont," in old ScottiBh, means the flat closed, with the thonib extended, 
and may Iw considered a measure of about six inches; Anglo-Saxon, "ScteTtmnnd." 
« "HlB legs were but a finger hing."— Buchan. 
^ Caw*B Poetical Ifuseum, as in text 

"And [or both*! thick and nimble was his knee."— Bnchan and MotherwelL* 
"And thick and thimbcr was his thigha" — Herd, 
f "Between his tLoulderB [ihcrc wcic*J til? three."— Buchan and MotherwelL* 

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3 He pull'd* up a meikle stane,* 

And flang t as far as I cou^d sco ; 
Though I had been as Wallace wiglit, 
I couldna liften't to my knee. 

4 " Oh, wee, wee man, but ye be Strang ! 

Oh, tell me where thy dwelling be?" 
** I dwell down at yon bonnie bow'r ; " 
Oh, will you go with me and see? " •* 

6 On we lap, and awa we rade, 

Till we came to yon bonnie green; 
We lighted down to bait our steed, • 
And out there came a lady sheen. ^ 

6 With four-and-twenty at her back, 

All comely clad in glistering green ; ff 
Though there the king of Scots had stood, * 
The warst might weel ha*e been his queen. 

7 On we lap, and awa we rade, * 

Till wc came to a bonnie hall; 

The roof was of the beaten gowd,<' 

The floor was of the crystal all, 

« » Took."— Herd. "Has to'en."— Caw's Poetical ifuseum, 
b ** This wee, wee man puU'd up a stana"— MotherwoU. * 

"He lifted a stone sax feet in height, 
Ue lifted it up till his right knee ; 
And fifty yards and malr, I'm suro, 
I ^vyto he made the stuio to floe."— BuchaxL 

« "My aweUing b down at yon bonnie bow'r."--Hcrd. 

d ^♦Fair lady, will ye go and see ? '^—Motherwell 

• "Horse."— Herd. 

/ "Fine."— Herd. 

9 Text from Caw's Poetical Museum. 

"And they were a' clad out in green.**->Herd. 

h " Though the king of Scotland had been there. 

The warst o' them might ha'e been his queen."— Herd. 

Mr. Buchan's version omits stanzas 5 andO. 
« "On syne we pass with wondering cheir."~Caw'B Poetical Mtuettm, 

i "The rafters were o* the beaten gold, 

And silver wire woro the kebars all."— MolhorwelL 

" Sac on we lap, and awa we rade, 
Till we camo to yon little ha' ; 
The kipples voro o' the gudo red gowd, 
Tho ruof was o' the proscyla'."— Duchan. 

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8 When we came there, with wee, wee knights,* 
Were ladies dancing, jimp and sma'; 
But in the twinkling of an o'e. 
My wee, wee man was clean awa. 


" In the manuscript from which these verses are taken, they form 
the pre£Eu;e to a long strain of iDcomprchensihle prophecies of the 
same description as those which are appended to * Thomas of 
Ersyldoune.* Whether the two portions oelong together or not, 
the first fdone requires to be cited here for the purpose of com- 
parison with *The Wee, Wee Man.' The whole piece has been twice 
priuted ; first by Finlay, in his Scottish Ballads (vol. ii., p. 163), and 
afterwards by a person who was not aware that he had been 
anticipated, in the Retrospective Beview, second series, vol. ii., p. 

<*Both texts are in places nearly unintelligible, and are evidently 
full of errors, part of which we must ascribe to the incompetency of 
the editors. Finlay's is on the whole the best ; but it has received a 
few corrections from the other, and one or two conjectural emenda* 
tions." — Professor Child, English and Scottish Ballads^ vol. i, ix 273. 

In order to facilitate "comparison" with "The Wee, Wee Man,*' 
the poem, as given by Professor Child, has been here somewhat 
modernized, chiefly in the orthography. 

The explanatory notes are mostlv civen from Professor Child*s 
Glossary to English and Scottish Ballad, vol. L 

1 As I went on ae Monday 

Between Wyltenden and Wall, 
The ane after braid way, 

A little man I met withall, 
The least that ever I, sooth to say, 

Either [saw] in bow'r or in hall; 
His robe was neither green nor gray, 

But all it was of rich pall. J 

• •* When wo came to the stair foot."— Herd 

"There wore pipers placing in erery neak, 
And ladies dandng limp and sma'; 
And aye the owreword o' their tone 
Wae— ' Oar wee, wee man has been l&ns awa." "— MotherwelL 

Mr. Buchan's Torsion conclndea thns:— 

"Oat gat the lights, on cam* the mist, 
Ladies nor mazinio mair cou'd seo; 
I tDm'd about and gae a look 
JoBt at the foot o' Benichie." 

t The title, as given by Professor Child, from the erst line of his text, is^ "Als y 
yod on ay Monnday." 

t"PaU:'' rich doth. 

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2 On me he calPd, and bade me bide; 

Well still I stood a little space; 
Frae Lancaster the park side 

On he came, well fair his pace. 
He hailed me with meikle pride; 

I had well meikle ferly« what ho was; 
I said,—" Well might the » betide, 

That little man with largo face." 

3 I beheld that little man 

By the street as we gon gae; • 
His beard was long a large span. 

And gilded as the feather of pae;* 
His head was white as any swan, 

His eyes was great and gray also; 
Brows lang, well I the * 'gan 

Mark it to five inches and mao.' 

4 Arms short, for sooth 1 B.ay, 

A span seemM them to be; 
Hands braid withouten nay, 

And fingers lang, he shewed me. 
A stane he took up where it lay, 

And castit forth that I might see; 
A rnerk-shot of large way 

Before me strides ho castit three. 

5 Well still I stood as did the stane, 

To look him on though me not lang; 
His robe was all gold bcgane,-^ 

Well craftlike made I understand ; 
Buttons azure every ano 

Frae his elbow unto his hand; 
Earth-like man was he nanc, 

That in my heart I understand. 

6 Till him I said full soon on-ane, ' 

For furthermair I wou*d him fraino, * 
" Gladly wou'd I wit* thy name. 

And I wist wat me mouthe gaine;-' 
Thou art so little of flesh and bane, 

And so meikle of might and main, 

• "Ferly : " wonder. ^ " On-ono: " anon. 

» •'The : " thee w they. * .. praine : " quesUon. 

•|;Gon gae: "went along. , «Wit:"know. 


• •»Mae:" mora. ^ T^s line, «<c"wi8t^" means know; 
^ui> ,rL J , ^ "wat," aBoally know, but here apiiv 
/ "B(«an©:" bedecked. renUy what; "moathe: " might 


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"Where vones" thou, little man, at hame? 
Wit of thee I wou'd full fain." 

" Though I be little and lith,* 

Am I not withouten wane ; * 
Fairly questioned thou wAat I hitb, <* 

That " thou sAalt not wit my name; 
My wonige stede-^full well is dyght,' 

Now soon thou s^alt see at hame." 
Till him I said,—" For God's might, 

Let me forth mine errand gane." 

'^ Thee thar * not of thine errand let, < 

Though thou come a stonde^ with mo, 
Further s^alt thou not be set, 

Be miles twa neither be three." 
No langer durst I for him let, 

But forth I funded * with that free; ' 
Stinted*" us brook nor beck;** 

Ferlich" me though how so might be. 

lie went forth as I you say. 

In at a gate, I understand ; 
In till a gate withouten nay ; 

It to see though me not lang. 
The bankers P on the binkes « lay^ 

And fair lords set I found; 
In ilka hirn *" I heard a lay. 

And ladies soth* melody sang. 


The followiDg lively little nursery piece is here set down from re- 
citation :— 

1 Tammie Doodle was a cantie chiel, 
Fu' cantie and fu' crouse; 
The fairies liked him unco weel, 
And built him a wee house. 

« "VoneB:" vrones, dwellesi » "Funded:" went 

b " Lith: " Biipple, limber. t " Free: " fey— lord or fairy. 

c " Wane: " dwelling. »• " Stinted : " stopped. 

<* "Hlth:" named. " "Beck:" Btream. 

• "That:" yet » "Ferlich:*' wondered. 

/ "WonigoBtede:" dwelling-place. P "Bankers:" covers. 

9 "Dyght:" docked, adorned. ^ "Binkea:" benches. 

h " Thar: " it needs. •" *' Him: " comer. 

i "Let:" hinder. f "Soth;" floothing, Bwe«i 

/ "Aatonde:" astO£u&lie(.l 

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2 And when the house was all built up, 

And finished but the door, 
A fairy it came skippin' in, 
And danced upon the floor. 

3 The fairy it whirl'd up and dov/n, 

It loupit and it flanc ; 
It friskit and it whiskit roun\ 
And croonM a fairy sang. 

4 At length it whistled loud and shrill, 

And in came all the gang, 
Till puir little Tammie Doodle 
Was maist smother'd in the thrang. 


Mr. Kinloch printed a fragment of this ballad, under the above 
title, in his Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 225. 

Mr. Buchan next communicated a considerably different version, 
under the title of "Young Hastings the Groom," to his friend Mr. 
Motherwell, by whom it was given in Minstrelsy, Ancient and 
Modem, p. 287. It was afterwards included by Mr. Buchan in his 
Ancient BcUlads and Songs, vol. ii., p. 67. 

Another and more complete version, under the title of "Young 
Akin," appears in Mr. Buchan^s Ancient Ballads and Songs, voL i.. 

The present version has been diligently collated from all three, and 
has, as usual under such process, received what are considered some 
necessary alterations. 

The six opening, two intermediate, and three concluding, stanzas of 
"Young Hastings," as they differ greatly from the present version, arc 
given next in order. 

Mr. Kinloch*s version of " Hynde Etin" is prefaced by the following 
remarks : — ** A sanguine antiquary might, perhaps, with some proba- 
bility, discover in tnis ballad a fragment of the tale or romance of * The 
Reyde Eyttyn vitht the Thro Heydis,* mentioned in The Complaynt 
of Scotland. Dr. Leyden, in his Preliminary Dissertation to that 
work, p. 235, spneaking of such romances, remarks, that they are either 
lost or only exist as popular tales. The *Red Etin' is still a popular 
character in Scotland ; and, according to the vulgar etymology of his 
name, is always represented as an insatiable gormandizer on red or 
raw flesh, and exclaiming, as in the story of Jack and the Bean 

* Rnonk butt, snonk ben. 
I find the smell of earthly men.* 

" In this ballad, however, he bears a more courteous name and 
character, and seems to have lost his * thre heydis,' and his appetite 

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for 'qnyk men ;^ although his gonnancli2diig qualities are proverbial 
in Meamshire, where the phrase, * Roaring like a Red Etin/ ia applied 
to any one who is clamorous for his victuals.'^ 

Dr. Leyden observes, that " the idea of the giants who devoured 
quick men is probably derived from the Cyclops, as they are generally 
placed in Etaland*' [Etnaland?]. The name j^^'ti, however, appears 
rather to be derived immediately from the Danish lette, which means 

The above description answers better the "foul thief" of ** Young 
Ronald," a»fe, p. 149, stanza 29, and the **Gyant" or **Soldan" of 
"Sir Cawline," aiite, p. 157, than it does the hero of the following 

It may be mentioned that Dr. Robert Chambers's Popular JRkymes 
of Scotland (p. 89, last edition) contains, under the same title as this 
ballad, a traditionary story interspersed with snatches of rhyme. 
It, however, differs from this in mcident, in which, as well as in 
structure, it closely resembles the succeeding "interesting relic of 
ancient Scottish song, entitled, 'Child Rowland and Fair Burd 
Helen,' a legend still current in the nursery,'* says Motherwell, Mui' 
streUy, Introduction, p. xc. 

1 May Margaret stood within her bowV, 

Combing her yellow hair; 
She heard a note in Elmond wood, 
And wish'd that she was there. 

2 May Margaret sat in her bow'r door, 

Sewing her silken scam; 
She heard a note in Elmond wood, 
Amang the leaves sae green. 

She let the seam fall frao her side, 
The needle to her tae; 
And she 's awa to Elmond wood 
As fast as she cou'd gae. 

4 She hadna pull'd a nut, a nut, 
A nut but barely ane, 
Till up started the Hynde Etin, 
Says — " Lady, let alane ! 

6 "Oh, why pull ye the nut, the nut, 
Or why break ye the tree? 
For I am forester of this wood — 
Ye shou'd speir leave of me." 

6 Yet aye she pulPd the ither ben*y, 
Ne'er thinking of tlie sknith. 
And said — "To wrang ye, Ilynde Etin, 
I wou*d be unco laith. 

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nTNDE ETIN. 201 

7 " But Elmond wood it is my ain; 

My father gave it me, 
To sport and play when I thought lang; 
I'll speir nae leave of thee." 

8 He 's ta'en her by the yellow locks, 

And tied her till a tree, 
And said — " For slighting my commands, 
My sair weid ye shall dree." * 

9 Then puird a tree out of the wood, 

The biggest that was there. 
And houk'd a cave monie fathoms deep. 
And put May Margaret there. 

10 '* Now rest ye there, ye saucy ^lay ! 

My woods are free for thee ; 
And if I take ye to myscV, 
The better ye'll like me I" 

11 Nae rest, uac rest May Margaret took, 

Sleep got she never nane ; 
Ilcr back lay on the cauld, cauld floor. 
Her head upon a stane. 

12 " Oh, take me out," May Margaret cried; 

" Oh, take me hame to thee; 
And I shall be your boundeu page, 
Until the day I dee." 

13 He took her out of the dungeon deep. 

And awa with him she 's gane ; 
But sad was the day a king's daughter 
Was by Hynde Etin ta'en. 

14 Oh, they ha'o lived in Elmond wood 

For nine lang years and ane. 
Till seven prettio sons to Hynde Etin 
May Margaret has brocht hame. 

15 But these seven bairns, sae fail- and fine. 

They got nae christening; 
And she was ne'er within kirk door, 
Nor e'er got gude kirking. 

16 Then it fell ance upon a day, 

Hynde Etin 's hunting gane ; 
And the eldest of his seven sons 
Alang with him has ta'en. 

* My grieTous and fui-ions rage ye Bball endure, or Buffer. 

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17 And a8 they hameward bent their way, 

And slowly on did walk, 
The boy*8 heart being somewhat wao, 
He thus began to talk : 

18 "A question I wou'd ask, father, 

If ye wou'dna angry be? " 
" Ask on, ask on, my bonnie boy, 
Ask what ye will at me." 

19 "I see my mother's cheeks oft wet, 

Alas! they are seldom dry; " 
" Nae wonder, nae wonder, my bonnie boy, 
Though she shou'd oft-times cry. 

20 " Your mother was a king's daughter. 

Sprung frae a high degree. 
And she might ha'e wed some noble prince. 
Had she nae been stown by me. 

21 " But we'll shoot the laverock in the lift, 

The buntin' on the tree, 
And bear them to your mother dear, — 
See if she'll merrier be." 

22 It fell upon anither day, 

Hynde Etin 's hunting gane. 
With bow and arrows by his side. 

In greenwood all alane; 
And left May Margaret and her sons 

Within their cave of stane. 

23 Then she has ta'en her harp in hand, 

And harp'd them all asleep. 
All but the eldest of her sons, 

Wha still did waking keep; 
And as she harp'd, it 's thus she sang, 

And bitterly did weep : 

24 " Oh, ten lang years ha'e o'er me flo^vn, 

Of sorrow and of shame. 
Since in this greenwood I was stown, 
And Etin's wife became, 

25 '* And seven fair sons to him I've bom, 

Wha ne'er got christondame ; 
Oh. sad fate for a king's daughter, 
Of noble birth and famo i 

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26 " Oh, seven fair sons to him IVe born, 

Yet ne'er got gudo kirking; 
And ten years in this cave ha'e been, 
Nor e'er heard kirk bells ring." 

27 It 's out then spake her eldest son, 

A brisk young boy was he, — 
" There 's something I wou*d tell, mother. 

If ye wou'dna angry be ; " 
** Speak on, speak on, my bonnio boy, 

Tell what ye will to me." 

28 " The ither day, as we hunting gaed. 

And shot birds on the wing, 
Near to the verge of the wood we stray'd. 
And I heard sweet music ring." 

29 " My blessings on you, my bouuic boy ; 

And oh, I fain wou'd be 
Alang with you all in holy kirk; 
There christen'd ye wou'd be." 

30 Oh, out then spake her eldest son. 

And he spake out with glee, — 
" Oh, weep nae mair, my mother dear, 
And I your guide will be. 

31 " Take you the youngest in your arms. 

The rest can gang alane. 
And we will on to holy kirk. 
And leave this cave of stane." 

32 They wistna weel where they were gaen. 

With their wee stratlin feet; 
They wistna weel where they were gaen, 

TiU near her father's yett ; 
But May Margaret that weel-kenn'd spot 

She ne'er cou'd it forget. 

83 " I hae nae monie," May Margaret said, 
" But royal rings I've three : 
Here, take ye them, my eldest son. 
And gang ye there for mo. 

34 " Ye'll gi'e the first to the proud porter, 
And he will let you in ; 
Ye'll gi'e the next to tlie butler boy, 
And he will show you bun. 

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35 ** Ye^ll gVe the next to the gude harper, 

That harps before the king ; 
And he will sweetly tune his harp, 
And success to you sing." . 

36 The boy went bauldly to the yett, 

And did as he was bade ; 
And everything his mother tauld, 
It happened as she said. 

87 And when he came before the king, 
He fell low on his knee ; 
The king he tui*n*d him round about, 
With tear-draps in his e'e. 

38 '' Win up, ^\^n up, my bonnie boy, 
Gang frae my companie; 
Ye look sae like my daughter dear. 
My heart will burst iu three." 

89 " If I look like your daughter dear, 
Nae wonder it need be ; 
If I look like your daughter dear. 
My mother dear is she." 

40 " Oh, tell me now, my bonnie boy, 

Where may my Margaret be?" 
** She *8 just now standing at your yett, 
With six sons forbye me." 

41 '* Oh, where are all my porter boys. 

That I pay meat and fee, 
To open my yetts baith wide and braid ? 
Let her come in to me." 

42 When she came in before the king, 

She fell low on her knee; 
" Win up, win up, my daughter dear, 
This day ye'll dine with me." 

43 " Ae bit I canna eat, father, 

Nor ae drap v\n I drink, 
Till I see my mother and sister dear, 
For lang for them I think. 

44 " Ae bit I canna eat, father, 

Nor ae drap can I drink. 

Until I see my dear husband, 

For lang on him I think," 

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45 " Oh, where are all my rangers bauld, 

That I pay meat and fee, 
To search the forest far and wide, 
And bring Etin to me?" 

46 Out then spake the bonnie boy,— 

" Na, na, this maunna be; 
Without ye grant a free pardon, 
I hope ye'll ne'er him see." 

47 " Oh, here I grant a free pardon, 

Weel sealM with my ain han' ; 
Gae search and bring here Ilynde Etin, 
As soon as e'er you can." 

48 Thev search'd the country wide and braid, 

Tne forests far and near ; 
Till they found him in Elmond wood. 
Tearing his yellow hair. 

49 " Win up, win up now, Hynde Etin, 

Win up, and boun with me ; 
We're messengers come frae the king, 
And he wants you to see." 

50 " Oh, let him take frae me my head. 

Or hang me on a tree; 
For since Tve lost my dear ladye, 
Life has nae joy to me." 

61 " Your head will nae be touched, Etin, 
And hang'd you winna be ; 
Your ladye 's in her father's court, 
And all he wants is thee." 

52 When he came in before the king. 

He fell low on his knee ; 
" Arise, arise now, Hynde Etin, 
This day ye'se dine with me." 

53 As they were at the dinner set. 

The young boy thus spake he, — 
" I wish we were at holy kirk. 
To get our Chris tentie I " 

54 " Your asking's nae sae great, my boy, 

But granted it shall be ; 
This day to gude kirk ye shall gang, — 
Your mother too with thee," 

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55 When they onto the gude kirk came, 

She at the door did stan^ ; 
She was sae sair sunk down with shame, 
She wou'dna venture ben. 

56 Then out and spake thd parish priest, 

And a sweet smile ga'e he,^ 
" Come ben, come ben, my liiie flower, 
Present your babes to me." 

57 And he has ta^en and sained them all, 

And gi'en them Christentie ; 
And they staid in her father's hall, 
And lived with mirth and glee. 

See Tntrodaction to ''HyndeEtin," ante, p. 199. 

Oh, well like I to ride in a mist, 
And shoot in a northern win' ; 

And far better a lady to steal. 
That 's come of a noble kin. 

Four-and-twenty fair ladies 

Put on this lady's sheen; 
And as many yoimg gentlemen 

Did lead her o'er the green. 

Yet she preferr'd, before them all, 
Him young Hastings the groom : 

He 's coosten a mist before them all, 
And away this lady has ta'en. 

He 's taken the lady on him behind, 
Spar'd neither grass nor corn, 

Till they came to the wood of Amonshaw, 
Where again their loves were sworn. 

And they ha'e lived within that wood 

Full many a year and day; 
And were supported from time to time 

By what he made of prey. 

And seven bairns, fair and fine. 

There she has born to him; 
Yet never was in gude kirk door, 

Kor ever got gude kirkiDg. 

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Stanzas corresponding to 16 to 20 inclnsive of "Hynde Etin" 
should evidently follow, and then two stanzas, as given in Mr, 
Buchan's "Young Akin," but which palpably belong properly to 
the present version. They are : — 

" I was her father's cup-bearer, 

Just at that fatal time; 
I catch'd her on a misty night, 

When summer was in prime. 

" My love to her was most sincere, 

Her love was great for me ; 
But when she hardships doth endure, 

Her folly she does see." 

Then come, next in order, stanzas corresponding to 23 to 31 
inclusive of the i>resent text, and to five stanzas in "Young 
Hastings ;" after which succeed the following : — 

" Then go with us unto some kirk — 

You say they are built of stane— 
And let us all be christen'd [there], 

And you get gude kirking." 

She took the youngest in her lap, 

The next youngest by the hand, 
Set all the rest of them before. 

As she learnt them to gang. 

And she has left the wood with them, 

And to the kirk has gane; 
Where the gude priest them christened, 

And gave her gude kirking. 

--^ \. 


Given by Jamieson in Illustrations of Northern Antiquities, p. 

Mr. Jamieson alleges, and Professor Child thinks, "it is not im- 
ble that this bidlad should be the one quoted by Edgar in Kijifj 
ear (act iii, sc. 4) :— 

' Child Bowland to the dark tower came !* " 

Mr. Jamieson remarks, that, " having the outline of the story so 
happily sketched to his hand, it would nave required no very great 
exertion of talents or industry, for one exercisea in these studies, to 
have presented this Romance in a poetical dress, far more correct and 
generally engaging than that ia Yfmoh it Q9a be expected to be found i 

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but, as he accounts an original, however imperfect, which bears the 
genuine marks of the age which produced it, and of the taste of those 
who have preserved iC much more interesting to the historian or 
antiquary than any mere modern tale of the same kind, however 
artfully constructed, he has preferred subjoining the Scottish legend 
inpuris natuixilibtiSf in the hope that the publication of it may be the 
means of exciting curiosity, and procuring a more perfect copy of this 
singular relic." 

The ballad of " Rosmer Hafinand," which is to be found in Danish, 
Swedish, Faroish, and Norse, and three versions of which have been 
translated by Jamieson, bears a considerable resemblance to '' Child 

The tale of the Red Etin, which it also closely resembles, has al- 
ready been alluded to at the close of the preceding introductory 
note, ante, p. 200. 

"The occurrence of the name of Merlin," writes Professor Child, " is 
by no means a sufficient ground for connecting this tide, as Jamieson 
does, with the cycle of King Arthur ; for Merlin, as Grundtvig has 
i-emarked (* Folkeviser,' vol. ii., p. 79), did not originally belong to that 
cycle ; and again, his name seems to have been given in Scotland to any 
sort of wizard or [warlock] prophet. " — English and Scottish Ballads, vol. 
i , p. 245. And in a prefatory note to *' Rosmer Hafmand," Professor 
Child further states, that *^ all the questions bearing upon its origin, 
and the relations of the various forms in which the story exists, are 
amply discussed by Grundtvig, vol. ii., p. 72."— Same work and vol., 
p. 253. 

[King Arthur's sons of merry CarliskJ 

Were playing at the ball; 
And there was their sister Burd Elleu, 

rtbe luids amang them all. 

Child Rowland kick'd it with his foot, 

And keppit it with his knee, 
And aye, as ho play'd out o'er them all, 

O'er the kirk lie gar'd it flee. 

Burd Ellen round about the isle 

To seek the ball is gane; 
But they bade lang and ay Linger, 

And she camo na back again. 

They sought her east, they sought her west, 

They sought her up and down; 
And wae were the hearts [in meiTy Carlisle], 

For she was nae gait found 1 

" At hist her eldest brother went to the Warluck Merlin {Myrddin 
Wyldt), and asked if he knew where his sister, the fair Burd Ellen, 
was. * The fair Burd Ellen, * said the Warl uck Merlin, * is carried away 
by the fsdries, and is now in the castle of the king of Elfland ; an5l 

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it were too bold an undertaking for the stoutest knight in Christ- 
endom to bring her back.' ' Is it possible to bring her back ? ' said 
her brother ; * and I will do it or perish in the attempt* * Possible, 
indeed, it is,' said the Warluck Merlin ; ' but woe to the man or 
mother's son who attempts it, if he is not well instructed beforehand 
of what he is to do.' 

" Influenced no less by the glory of such an enterprise than by the 
desire of rescuing his .sister, the brother of the fair Burd Ellen re- 
solved to undertake the adventure ; and after proper instructions from 
Merlin (which he failed in observing), he set out on hia perilous ex- 

But they bade lang and ay langer, 

With dout and mickle maen ; 
And wae were the hearts [in merry Carlisle], 

For he came na back again. 

" The second brother in hke manner set out ; but failed in observing 
the instructions of the Warluck Merlin ; and — 

They bade lang and ay langer, 

With mickle dout and maen ; 
And wae were the hearts [in merry Carlisle], 

For he came na back again. 

" Child Rowland, the youngest brother of the fair Bard Ellen, then 
resolved to go; but was strenuously opposed by the good queen 
[Gwenevra], who was afraid of losing all her children. 

** At last the good queen [Gwenevra] gave him her consent aud her 
blessing; he girt on (in great form, and with all due solemnity of 
sacerdotal consecration) his father's good claymore [Excalibar], that 
never struck in vain, and repaired to the cave of the Warluck Merlin. 
The Warluck Merlin gave him all necessary instructions for his 
journey and conduct, the most important of which were, that ho 
should kill every person he met with after entering the land of Fairy, 
and should neither eat nor drink of what was offered him in that 
country, whatever his hunger or thirst might be ; for if he tasted or 
touched in Elfland, he must remain in the power of the Elves, and 
never see middle card again. 

** So Child Rowland set out on his journey, and travelled * on and 
ay farther on,* till he came to where (as he had been forewarned by 
the Warluck Merlin) he found the king of Elfland's horse-herd feeding 
his horses. 

** * Canst thou tell me,' said Child Rowland to the horse-herd, 
* where the king of Elfland's castle is ? ' * I cannot tell thee,' said 
the horse-herd ; * but go on a little farther, and thou wilt come to 
the cow-herd, and he, perhaps, may tell thee.' So Child Rowland 
drew the good claymore [ExcaJibar], that never struck in vain, and 
hewed off the head of the horse-herd. Child Rowland then went 
on a little farther, till he came to the kin^ of Elfland's cow-herd, 
who was feeding his cows. * Canst thou tell me,' said Child Row- 
land to the cow-herd, * where the king of Elfland's castle is?' *I 

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cannot tell thee,' said the cow-herd ; ' bat go on a little farther, and 
thou wilt come to the sheep-herd, and he, perhaps, may tell thee.' 
So Child Rowland drew the good claymore [Excalibar], that never 
struck in vain, and hewed ofif the head of the cow-herd. He then 
went on a little fiarther, till he came to the sheep-herd. .... 
[The sheep-herd, goat-herd, and swine-herd are all, each in histtim^ 
served in the same manner; and lastly he is re/erred to tlie hen-wife.] 

** * Go on yet a little farther,' said the hen -wife, * till thou come to 
a round green, hill surrounded with rings {terraces) from the bottom 
to the top ; go round it three times widershins, and every time 
say, Open, door 1 open, door ! and let me come in ! and the third 
time the door wiU open, and you may go in.' So Child Rowland 
drew the good claymore [Excalibar], that never struck in vain, and 
hewed ofif the havA of the hen -wife. Then went he three times 
widershins round the green hiU, crying, * Open, door ! open, door ! 
and let me come in ; ' and the third time the door opened, and he 
went in. 

« It immediately closed behind him, and he proceeded through a 
long passage where the air was soft and agreeably warm, like a May 
evenmg, as is all the air of Elfland. The light was a sort of twilight or 
gloaming ; but there were neither windows nor candles, and he Knew 
not whence it came, if it was not from the walls and roof, which were 
rough and arched like a grotto, and composed of a clear transparent 
rock, incrusted with sheeps-silver and spar, and various bright stones. 
At last he came to two wide and lofty folding-doors, which stood 
ajar. He opened them, and entered a large and spacious hall, whose 
richness ana brilliance no ton^ie can tell. It seemed to extend the 
whole length and height of the hill. The superb Grothic pillars by 
which the roof was supported were so large and so lofty (said my 
sennachy) that the pillai-s of the Chanry Kirk,* or of Pluscardin 
Abbey, are no more to be compared to them, than the Knock of Alves 
is to be compared to Balrinnes or Ben-a-chi. They were of gold and 
silver, and were fretted like the west window of the Chanry Kirk, 
with wreaths of flowers, composed of diamonds and precious stones of 
all manner of beautiful colours. The key-stones of the arches above, 
instead of coats of arms and other devices, were ornamented with 
clusters of diamonds in the same manner. And from the middle of the 
roo( where the principal arches met, was hung by a gold chaiu an 
immense lamp of one hollowed pearl, perfectly transparent, in the 
midst of which was suspended a large carbuncle, that by the power 
of magic continually turned round, and shed over all the hall a clear 
and mild light, like the setting sun ; but the hall was so large, and 
these dazzling objects so far removed, that their blended radiance cast 
no more than a pleasing lustre, and excited no more than agreeable 
sensations in the eyes of Child Rowland. 

" The furniture of the hall was suitable to its architecture ; and at 
the farther end, under a splendid canopy, seated on a gorgeous sofa 
of velvet, silk, and gold, and * kembing ner yellow hair with a silver 
kemb,' — 

* The cathedral of Elgin naturally enough furnished Bimilos to a man who had 
oeTer In his life been twcntf miles distant from It 

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There was his sister Burd Ellen; 
She stood up him before. 


* God rue on thee, poor luckless fode I * 

What hast thou to do here ? 

* And hear ye this, my youngest brither, 

Why badena ye at hame ? 
Had ye a hunder and thousand lives, 
Ye canna brook ane o* them. 

* And sit thou down; and wae! oh wac ! 

That ever thou was born; 
For come the king o' Elfland in, 
Thy leccam f is forlorn ! ' 

** A long conversation then takes place : Child Rowland teUa her the 
news of [merry Carlisle], and of his own eic pedition ; and concludes 
with the observation, that, after this long and fatiguing journey to the 
castle of the king of Elfland, he is very hungry. 

**Burd Ellen looked wistfully and mournfully at him, and shook 
her head, but said nothing. Acting under the influence of a magic 
which she could not resist, she arose, and brought him a golden bowl 
full of bread and milk, which she presented to him witn the same 
timid, tender, and anxious expression of solicitude. 

"Remembering the instructions of the Warluck MerUn, *Burd 
EUen,' said Child Rowland, *I will neither taste nor toudi till I 
have set thee free !' Immediately the folding-doors burst open with 
tremendous violence, and in came the king of ILlfland, — 

With 'Fi,Jl,foa,ndfum! 

I smell the blood of a Christian man ! 
Be he dead, be he living, with my brand 

I'll clash his hams frae his harn-panl' 

'* * Strike, then, bogle of hell, if thou darcsti' exclaimed the un- 
daunted Child Rowland, starting up, and drawing the good claymore 
[ExcaUbar], that never struck in vain. 

"A furious combat ensued, and the king of Elfland was feUed to 
the ground; but Child Rowland spared him, on condition that he 
should restore to him his two brothers, who lay in a trance in a 
comer of the hall, and his sister, the fair Burd Ellen. The king of 
Elfland then produced a small crystal vial, containing a bright red 
liquor, with which he anointed the lips, nostrils, eye-lids, ears, and 
finger-ends of the two young men, who immediately awoke as from 
a profound sleep, durine which their souls had quitted their bodies, 
and they had seen, &c., &c., &c. So they aU four returned in triumph 
to [merry Carlisle]. 

♦ '• FoUe : " niau. t " Leccam: " body. 

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" Sach was the rnde oatline of the Bomanoe of Child Rowland, as it 
was told to me when I was about seven or eight years old, b)r a coun- 
try tailor then at work in my father's honse. He was an ignorant 
and dull good sort of honest man, who seemed never to have questioned 
the truth of what he related. Where the etccBteras are put down, 
many curious particulars have been omitted, because I was afraid of 
being deceived by my memory, and substituting one thins for another. 
It is right also to admonish the reader, that the Warluck Merlin, 
Child Kowland, and Burd Ellen, were the only names introduced in 
his recitation; and that the others, inclosed within brackets, are 
assumed upon the authority of the locality given to the story by the 
mention oi Merlin, In every other respect I have been as faithnil as 
possible." — Professor Child, English and Scottish Ballads, voL i., pp. 


The following ballad was printed in Herd's Scottish Songs, vol. i., 
p. 217; and in an altered shape in Lewis's Tcdes of Wonder, Na 56. 

It was reprinted from Herd by Mr. Buchan, in his Gleanings, &c., 
p. 92 ; and m a note thereto, in the same collection, p. 195, he states 
that *' the scene is laid at Slains, on the coast of Buchan, which is 
indented in many places by the sea with immense chasms, excavateil 
in many places to a great extent. The author is said to be of the 
name of Clark, a drunken dominie in that parish — t.e., Slains— who 
was also author of a fioctical ' Dialogue between the Gardeners and 
the Tailors,' on the oridn of their crafts, and a most curious Latin 
and English poem, called *The Battery College of Slains,* which 
resembles much in language and style Drummond's (of Hawthomdcn) 
* Polemo-Middinia.' " 

The poem last referred to appears to be that printed in Watson's 
Collection of Scots Poems, part iii, pp. 50 to 69, Edinburgh, 1711. 
Fac-simile reprint, Glasgow, 1S69. 

The accuracy of the report as to Clark's authorship of "Clerk 
Colvill" may well be questioned, as versions of the ballad, or of 
others similar, appear to be common to all the northern languages. 
See Professor Child's prefatory note (English and Scottish Ballads, vol. 
i., p. 298) to a translation of the Danish Elveskud (Abrahamson, vol. i, 
1>. 237), from Jamieson's Popular Ballads and Songs, vol. i., p. 219, 
where it appears under the title of "Sir Oluf and the Elf -King's 
Daughter." " Sir Oluf;" or, as it is there named, " Sir Olave," may 
also be found translated in Old Danish Ballads, &c., p. 66. This 
ballad, and others of the same class, exemplify «a superstition deeply 
rooted in the belief of all the northern nations — the desire of the 
elves and water-spirits for the love of Christiana." — Professor Child, 
English and SeoUish Ballads, vol. I, p. 192. 

A similar Breton ballad, named "Lord Nann and the Eorrigan,** 
may be foimd translated in Eeightley's Fairtf Mythology, p. 433.^- 
Bohn*s Antiquarian Library, 

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1 Clerk Colvill and his lasty dame 

Were walking in the garden green; 
The belt around her stately waist 
Cost Clerk Colvill of pounds fifteen. 

2 " Oh, promise me now, Clerk Colvill, 

Or it will cost ye muckle strife, 
Ride never by the wells of Slane, 
If ye wou'd live and brook your life." 

3 " Now speak nae mair, my lusty dame, 

Now speak nae mair of that to me; 
Did I ne'er see a fair woman, 
But I wou'd sin with her fair bodie? " 

4 He 's ta'en leave of his gay ladye, 

Nought minding what his ladve said; 
And he *s rode by the wells of Slane, 
Where washing was a bonnie maid. 

5 " Wash on, wash on, my bonnie maid, 

That wash sae clean your sark of silk ; ** 
" And well fa' you, fair gentleman, 
Your body's whiter than the milk." 

6 Then loud, loud cry'd the Clerk Colvill,— 

" Oh, my head it pains me sairl" 
" Then take, then take," the maiden said, 
" Andfrae my sark you'll cut a gare." 

7 Then she gave him a little bane-knife, 

And frae her sark he cut a gare ; 
She ty'd it round his whey-white face, 
But aye his head it ached [the] mair. 

8 Then louder cry'd the Clerk Colvill,— 

" Oh, sairer, sairer aches my head! " 
" And sairer, sairer ever will," 
The maiden cry's, " till you be dead." 

9 Out then he drew his shining blade, 

Thinking to stick her where she stood ; 
But she was vanish 'd to a fish. 
And swam far off, a fair mermaid. 

10 " Oh 1 mother, mother, braid my hair; 
My lusty lady, make my bed; 
Oh I brother, take my sword and spear. 
For I have seen the false mermaid." 

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From Mr. Finlay's Scottish, Historical, and Jio7nantic Ballads. 

"This beautiful piece of poetry," says Mr. Finlay, "was re- 
covered from the recitation of a lady, who heard it sung by the 
servants in her father's family about fifty years a|o;" i.e., about 
1758, as Mr. Einlay^s collection was published in 1803. 

" *The Mermaid,' says Mr. Motherwell, ** though Mr. Finlay con- 
siders it an old baUad, is certainly wholly re-written. There are 
stories, sure enough, of knights — yea, squires of low degree — being 
captivated by these 'swimming ladies,' rife in every part of the 
country; and the only one on record who was so fortunate as to 
escape their embraces was a gentleman commemorated in the rhyme 
given by Mr. Chambers in his late curious work, The Popular Rhijmts 
of Scotland, 1826, p. 208. (Last edition, 1870, p. 332.) 

' Lorntle, I^i^rntlo, wcr't na for yoar man, 
I had gart your heart's blude skirl in xuy pan.* 

" But as to the verses in Mr. Finlay's book, or those in Mr. 
Pinkerton's, on a similar subject, being ancient, I must beg leave to 
remain incredulous." — Minstrelsy, Intr^uction, p. Ixxxvii. 

1 To yon fause stream that, near the sea, 

Hides mony an elf and plum,* 
And rives with fearful din the stanes, 
A witless knicht did come. 

2 The day shines clear — far in he 's gaue. 

Where shells are silver bright; 
Fishes war loupin' all aroun', 
And sparklin* to the light. 

3 When, as he laved, sounds came sae sweet 

Frae ilka rock and tree ; 
The brief was out, 'twas him it doom'd 
The mermaid's face to see. 

4 Frae 'neath a rock, sune, sune she rose, 

And stately on she swam, 
Stopp'd in the midst, and beckM and sang 
To him to stretch his ban'. 

Gowden glist the yellow links 
That round her neck she'd twine ; 

Her een were of the skyie blue, 
Her lips did mock the w^ine. 

• " Plum : " & deep hole In a river's bed 

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The smile upon her bonnie cheek 

Was sweeter than the bee; 
Her voice excell'd the birdie's sang 

Upon the birchen tree. 

Sae couthie, couthio did she look, 

And meikle had she fleech'd; * 
Out shot his hand — alas ! alas ! 

Fast in the swirl he screeched. 

The mermaid leuch, her brief was gane, 
And kelpie's blast was blawin'; 

Full low she dook'd, ne'er raise again, 
For deep, deep was the fawin', 

Aboon the stream his wraith was seen, 
Warlocks tirl'd lang at gloamin'; • 

That e'en was coarse, the blast blew hoarse, 
Ere lang the waves were foamin'. 


From Mr. Jamieson's Popular Ballads, vol. ii., p. 187, where it is 
said to be given ** from the recitation of Mrs. Brown." 

In a note (p. 189), Mr. Jamieson explains, that 'Hhe term wonn 
foi'merly signiiicd, like Mrpent, * a reptile of anjr kind that made its 
way without legs.* Here it signifies a snake, ricrs Plowman, using 
it in the same sense for a serpent^ speaks of ' wyld tcormes in woodes,' 
&c., ed. 1561. F. O., iii., 1." 

He also explains *' Seeley Court " as meaning ** pleasant or happy 
court," or ** court of the pleasant and happy people ;" which, he says, 
*' agrees with the ancient and more legitunate idea of fairies." 

1 Alison Gross, that lives in yon tow'r, 

The ugliest witch in the north countrio, 
She trysted me ao day up till her bow'r. 
And mony fair speeches she made to me. 

2 She straik'd my head, and she kaim'd ray hair, 

And she set me down saftly on her knee; 
Saj's — " If ye will be my leman sae true, 
Sae mony braw things as I will you gi'e." 

3 She shaw'd me a mantle of red scarlet, 

With gowden flowers and fringes fine; 
Says — " If ye will be my leman sae true, 
This goodly gift it shall be thine." 
• " Fleecbed ; " fl&ttered, op 11}eseochecL 

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4 '• Awa, awa, yo ugly Avitcli, 

llaud far awa, and let me be ; 
I never will be your leman sae true, 

And I wish I were out of your company." 

5 She neist brocht a sark of the saftcst silk, 

Weel wrought with pearls about the band; 
Says — " If ye will be my ain true love, 
This goodly gift ye shall command." 

G She show'd me a cup of the good red gowd, 
Weel set with jewels sae fair to see ; 
Says—" If ye will be my leman sae true, 
This goodly gift I will you gi'e." 

7 " Awa, awa, ye ugly witch. 

Hand far awa, and let me be ; 
For I wadna ance kiss your ugly mouth, 
For all the gifts that ye cou'd gi'e." 

8 She 's turn'd her richt and round about, 

And thrice she blew on a grass-green horn; 
And she sware by the moon and the stars aboon, 
That she*d gar me rue the day I was boru. 

9 Then out has she ta'en a silver wand, 

And she tum'd her three times round and round ; 
She mutter'd sic words, that my strength it faiPd, 
And I fell down senseless on the ground. 

10 She turn'd me into an ugly worm, 

And gar*d me toddle about the tree; 
And aye on ilka Saturday night, 
Aula Alison Gross she came to me, 

11 With silver basin, and silver kame. 

To kame my headie upon her knee; 
But rather than kiss her ugly mouth, 
I'd ha'e toddled for ever about the tree. 

12 But as it fell out on last Hallow-e'en, 

When the seely court was ridin' by. 
The queen lighted down on a gowan bank, 
Near by the tree where I wont to lye. 

13 She took me up in her milk-white hand. 

And she straik'd me three times o'er her knee; 
She chang'd me again to my ain proper shape. 
And na^ mair do I toddle about the tree. 

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''This piece/' says Mr. Jamieson, "prepared for the press, and in 
the exact state in whioh it now appears, was shown by the editor to 
Mr. [afterwards Sir Walter] Scott of Edinburgh, long before the publi- 
cation of either the Tales of Wonder (No. 67) or the Minstrelsy of the 
Scottish Border (voL iii);" in both of which it appeared prior to 
the prablication of Popular Ballads, &c., in which work (vol ii, p. 
194) it appears in a form slightly different from the text of Scott, 
and witii the addition of some interpolated lines and stanzas of 
Jamieson's own. 

The present text is collated from both versions ; bnt Scott's, which, 
as he mforms us, was '* edited from the MS. of Mrs. Brown, cor- 
rected by a recited fragment," is the one chiefly followed. 

The modernized copy appears under the title of *' Courteous King 
Jamie^" in Tales of Wonder, vol. ii., p. 451. 

**The legend," says Sir Walter Scott, "will remind the reader of 
the 'Marriage of Sir Oawain,' in the Beliques of Ancient Poetry, and 
of * The Wife of Bath's Tale,' in Father (Jhaucer. But the original, 
as appears from Torfoeus [Hrolffi Krakii Hist., p. 49, Hafn, 1715], is 
to be found in an Icelandic Saga." 

1 Let never man a-wooing wend, 

That lacketh thingis thrie : 
A rowth of gold, an open heart, 
And full of courtesie. 

2 And this was seen of King Ilenrie, 

For he lay burd-alane; 
And he has ta'en him to a jelly hunt's hall, 
Was far frae ony town. 

3 He chased the dun deer thro' the wood, 

And the roe down by the den, 
Till the fattest buck in all the herd 
King Henrie he has slain. 

4 He 's ta'en him to his huntin' hall, 

For to make burly cheer, 
When loud tho wind was heard to sound, 
And an earthquake rock'd the floor. 

5 And darkness cover'd all the hall 

Where they sat at their meat; 
Tlie grey dogs, yowling, left their food, 
And crept to Hcnrie'e feet, 

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6 And louder howl'd the rising wind, 

And burst the fastened door; 

And in there came a grisly ghost, 

Stood stamping on the floor. 

7 Her head touched the roof-tree of the house, 

Her middle ye weel mot span; 
Each frighted huntsman fled the hall, 
And left the king alane. 

8 Her teeth were all like tether stakes, 

Her nose like club or mell; 
A fitting maik she seemed to be 
To the fiend that wons in hell. 

9 " Some meat, some meat, ye King Henrie, 

Some meat ye'll gi*e to ine ! " 
" And what meat 's in this house, ladye, 
And what ha'e I to gi'e? 

10 " And what meat *8 in this house, ladye, 

That ye're na welcome tee?" * 
" Oh, ye'se gae kill your berry-brown steed. 
And serve him up to me." 

11 Oh, when he kilPd his berry -brown steed. 

Wow, but his heart was sair! 
She ate him all up, flesh and bane, 
Left naething but hide and hair. 

12 " Mair meat, mair meat, ye King Henrie, 

Mair meat ye'U gi'e to me ! " 
** And what meat 's in this house, ladye, 
And what ha'e I to gi'e? 

13 " And what meat 's in this house, ladye, 

That ye're na welcome tee?" 
" Oh, ye'se gae slay your gude greyhounds, 
And bring them aU to me." 

14 Oh, when he slew his gude greyhounds, 

Wow, but his heart was sair ! 
She 's eaten them all up, ane by ane, 
Left naething but hide and hair. 

15 "Mair meat, mair meat, ye King Henrie, 

Mair meat yo'U gi'e to me I " 
" And what meat 's in this house, ladye. 
That I ha'e left to gi'e? 

* "Toe," tor " to,*' ia tha Buolua uA (^AUoridian prottanoUUoa, 

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16 " And what meat 's in this house, ladyo, 

That ye*re na welcome tee? " 
" Oh, ye'se gae kill your gay gos-hawks, 
And bring them all to me/' 

17 Oh, when ho kilPd his gay gos-hawks, 

Wow, but his heart was sair! 
She ate them all up, skin and bane, 
Left naething but feathers bare. 

18 " Some drink, some drink now, King Henrio, 

Some drink ye*ll gi'e to me I " 
'^ And what drink *8 in this house, ladye, 
And what ha'e I to gi'e? 

19 " And what drink *s in this house, ladye, 

That ye're na welcome tee?" 
" Oh, ye'se sew up your horse's hide, 
And bring in a drink to me." 

20 Oh, he has sewM up the bluidy hide, 

And a pipe of wine put in ; 
She drank it all up at ao draught, 
And left na a drap ahin'. 

21 "A bed, a bed, ye King Henrie, 

A bed ye'll make to me!" 
" And what bed 's in this house, ladye, 
And what ha*e I to gi'e? 

22 " And what bed 's in this house, ladye, 

That ye're na welcome tee?" 
" Oh, ye maun pu' the green heather. 
Ana make a bed to me." 

23 Oh, pu'd has he the green heather. 

And made to her a bed; 
And up he has ta'en his gay mantle, 
And o'er it he has spread. 

2-i " Now swear, now swear, ye King Henrio, 

To take me for your bride!" 
"Oh, God forbid," King Henrie said, 

"That e'er the like betide! 
Tliat e'er the fiend that wons in hell 

Shou'd Btreek down by my side." 

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25 When night was gane and day was come, 

And the sun shone thro' the hall, 
The fairest ladv that e'er was seen 
Lay atween him and the wall. 

26 " Oh, weel is me! " King Henrie said, 

" How lang will this last with me?" 
And out and spake that ladye fair, — 
" E'en till the day ye dee. 

27 " For I was witch'd to a ghastly shape, 

All by my stepdame's skill, 
Till I shou'd meet with a courteous knight, 
Wou'd gi*e me all my will." 

Two versions of this ballad have appeared : — 

L In A Ballad Booh, p. 8L Edinburgh, 1823. [Edited by 

C. K. Sharpe, Esq.] 
IL In The Ballad Book, Edinburgh, 1827. [Edited by Geotge 
Ritchie Kinloch.] 

The text as here printed is collated from both versions. 

The music "of this ludicrous and extravagant ballad" is given by 
Motherwell, in his Minstrelsy . He savs, tlmt ** it affords a pretty 
ample specimen of the description of melody to which a great number 
of the traditionary ballads of Scotland are still chaunted by the 
people." — Appendix, p. xxiv. 

Mr. Motherwell also states that " Kemp Owyne," atUe^ p. 21, is 
sung to a similar air. 

C. K. Sharpe, Es(}., supposed the ballad to be of Scandinavian 
orisiin ; a theory which may be questioned, although similar Danish 
baUads do exist, as, for instance, ''Sir Guncelin," translated by 
Jamieson, in lUustrationa of Norlftem ArUimtities, p. 310, and ** Thor 
and the Ogre," in Old Danish BaUads, transUUedfrom QHmnCs CoUec- 
thn, p. 79. 

Both C. K. Sharpe, Esq., and Mr. Kinloch, suppose the name to be 
derived from Sir Kaye, of King Arthur's " Round Table." And the 
former remarks, that " the description of Bengoleer's daughter re- 
sembles that of the enchimted diunsel who appeared to courteous 
King Henrie." (See previous ballad.) 

1 Kempt Kate is a-wooing gane, 
Far, far ayont the sea, 
And there he met with Bengoleer, 
His gudofatl^er to l>e, . 

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KEiSPl KATE. 221 

" Whar are ye gann, Kempy Kaye, 
Whar are ye gaun sae Buner" 

" Oh, I am gaun to court a wife, 
And thinkna ye that 's weel dune?" 

" If ye be gaun to court a wife, 

As ye do tell to me, 
*Ti8 ye shall ha*e my Fusome Fug, 

Your ae wife for to be." 

4 " Gae scrape yerseP, my Fusome Fug, 

And mak^ your broukit face clean ; 

For the brawest wooer that e'er ye saw, 

Is come develling down the green." 

5 Up then raise the Fusome Fug, 

To mak' her broukit face clean; 
And aye she cursed her mither, that 
She had nae water in. 

G She rampit out, and she rampit in, 
She rampit but and ben ; 
The tattles that hung frae her tail 
Wou'd muck'd an acre of Ian*. 

7 Sae she scrapit her, and scartit her, 

Like the face of an assy pan ; 
And I wot she lookM the strangest maid 
That o'er the sun shone on. 

8 She had a neis upon her face 

Was like an auld pat fit; 
Atween her neis hot and her mou' 
Was inch thick deep of dirt. 

9 She had twa een in til her head. 

Ilk like a rotten ploom ; 
Her heavy brows hung o'er her face, 
And sairly she did gloom. 

10 She had lauchty teeth, and kaily lips, 

And wide lugs full of hair; 
H^jpouches, full of pease-meal daigh, 
Were hanging down her spare. 

11 When Kempy Kaye cam' to the house, 

He keekit through a hole, 
And there he saw the dirty drab • 

Just whi9king ower tho coal. 

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12 Then in cam' Kempy Kaye himsel', 

A clever and tall young man ; 
Between his shoulderB were ells three. 
Between his een a span. 

13 nka nail upon his hand 

Was like an iron rake, 
And ilka teeth into his head 
Was like a tether stake. 

14 ** I'm come to court your dochter dear, 

And some pairt of your gear:" 
" And by my sooth," quo' Bengoleer, 
" Shell sair a man o' weir. 

15 " My dochter she 's a thrifty lass ; 

She span seven year to me ; 

And if it were weel counted up, 

Full ten wobs it would be." 

1 G He led his dochter by the hand, 
His dochter ben brought he ; 
'' Oh, is she not the fairest lass 
That*6 in great Christendie ? " 

17 Her wooer ga*e her a fine napkin, 

Made o' an auld horse-brat: 
" I ne'er wore sic in a' my life. 
But I warrant I'se wear that." 

18 He ga'e to her a braw gowd ring, 

Made frae an auld brass pat; 
** I ne'er wore a gowd ring a' my life, 
But I warrant I'se wear that.'* 


In a note referring to "Bothwell," as contained in Herd's Scottish 
Songs, vol. i, p. 83, Mr. Motherwell says : — " This is a very popular 
ballad, and is known to reciters under a variety of names. I have heard 
it called * Lord Bangwell,' *Bengwill,' 'Bingwell,* 'Brengwell,' and 
* The Seven Sisters ; or, The Leaves of lind.* Id. the BorderMmstreUy^ 
vol. ill, p. 72, fifth edition (and p. 263, last edition), is a version entitled 
' Corspatrick.' The same authority mentions that a copy in Mrs. 
Brown of Falkland's MS. is styled 'Child Brenton' (or, as Mr. Jamieson 
names it, ' Gil Brenton '). In a book misnamed Remains of OaUowaif 
and NithsdcUe Song, it is titled, • We were Sisters, We were Seven. * lb 
is omusisg to see this moUey yersioa challenging thai in the Border 

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MinstreUy, as being interspersed with modem patches, and claiming 
for itself the merit of being a pore and unalloyed traditionary copy. 
Unparalleled impudence !" 

Another version was published by Mr. Buchan in Andent BaUads^ 
&c., vol. i., p. 204, under the title of ** Lord Dingwall;" and "Mr. 
Jamieson has translated," says Mr. Motherwell, "a Danish ballad, 
* Ingefred and Gudrune * {Northern ATUiguUies, p. 340), wherein ho 
points out the striking resemblance it bears to the present one." — 
Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modem, Introduction, p. Ixix., note 21. 
Another translation of the same appears in Old Danish Ballads^ &c., 
(p. 146), under the title of " The Gossiping Nightingales.*' 

In thia Danish ballad, the biide^s sister becomes her substitute, 
but in one or more of the other Scandinavian versions, as in tlie 
Scotish, the maid-servant takes her place. 

"This idea," says Professor Child, "was i)erhaps derived from 
Tristan and Isold. See Scott's Sir Tristrem, voL ii, pp. 64, 55."— 
English and Scottish Ballads, vol. i, p. 152. 

The text of the ballad, as here printed, is chiefly taken from Sir 
Walter Scotf s, who informs us, that " some stanzas were transferred 
by him from Herd's copy," while the remainder was "taken down 
from the recitation of a lady, nearly related to the Editor." Some 
readings " were also adopted " by him from the copy in Mrs. 
Browira MS., as i)reviou8ly referred to. "Cospatrick {Comes Pat- 
ricius) was the designation of the Earl of Dunbar, in the days of 
Wallace and Bruce." 

The inconsistent conduct of Cospatrick, and the manner in which 
he ultimately stood self-convicted, as related in the ballad, maj be 
profitably compared with similar incidents in the life of the patriarch 
Judah, as narrated in Genesis zxxviii. 

It is surely much to be rejfpretted, that in this nineteenth century, 
after our Lord*s advent, and among nominally Christian communities, 
that matters in this respect appear to have scarcelv, if at all, pro- 
gressed since the days of this early patriarch and zealous conservator 
of female purity ; as it is quite notorious that fashion, and her male 
and female votaries, still practically maintain one code of morality for 
man, and quite another for his help-meet, or gentler sister woman. 

Alas for our vaunted Christianity and Chivalry \ What are they, 
and where are they ? 

1 Cospatrick has sent o'er the faem; 
Cospatrick brouffht his ladye hame; 
Ana fourscore snips have come her wi*, 
The lady by the greenwood tree. 

2 There were twal' and twal* with baken bread, 
And twar and twal' with gowd sae red; 
And twaP and twal' with bouted flour, 

And twal' and twal' with the paramour. 

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8 Sweet Willie was a widow's son, 
And at her stirrup he did ran ; 
And she was clad in the finest pall, 
But aye she let the tears down fall 

4 " Oh, is your saddle set awry? 

Or rides your steed for you ower high? 
Or are you mourning in your tide, 
That you shou'd he Cospatrick's bride? " 

5 ** I am not mourning at this tide, 
That I shou'd be Cospatrick's bride; 
But I am sorrowing in my mood, 
That I shou'd leave my mother good. 

G " But, gentle boy, come tell to me, 
What is the custom of thy countrie?" 
" The custom thereof, my dame," he says, 
" Will ill a gentle ladye please. 

7 " Seven king's daughters has our lord wedded. 
And seven king's daughters has our lord bedded; 
But he 's cutted their breasts frao their breast-bane, 
And sent them mourning hame again. 

8 " Yet, if you're sure that you're a maid, 
Ye may gae safelv to his bed ; 

But if of that ye oe na sure, 

Then hire some damsel of your bow'r." 

9 The ladye 's call'd her bow'r maiden. 
That waiting was into her train; 

" Five thousand merks I'll gi'e to thee, 
To sleep this night with my lord for me." 

10 When bells were rung and mass was sayn, 
And all men unto bed were gane, 
Cospatrick and the bonnie maid 

Into a chamber they were laid. 

11 " Now speak, thou blankets, and speak, thou bed, 
And speak, thou sheet, enchanted web; 

And speak, my brown sword, that winiia Ice, 
Is this a true maiden that lies by mo?" 

12 '* It is not a maid that you ha'e wedded. 
But it is a maid that you ha'o bedded ; 
It is a leal maiden that lies by thee, 
But not the maiden that it should be," 

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COSPATfilCK. 226 

13 Oh, wrathfully he left the bed, 
And wrath full V his claes on did; 

And he has ta en him through the hall, 
And on his mother he did call. 

14 " I am the most unhappy man 
Tliat ever was in Christen land! 

I courted a maiden meek and mild, 
And I find it is a woman with child.'* 

15 " Oh, stay, my son, into this hall, 
And sport ye with your merry men all; 
And I will to her secret bowV, 

To see how it fares with your paramour.'* 

16 His mother 's hied her up to the towV, 
And lock'd her in the secret bow'r ; 

" Now, daughter mine, come tell to me, 
Wha's bairn this is that you are wi'?" 

17 '' Oh, mother dear, I canna learn 
Wha is the father of my bairn ; 
But hear me, mother, on my knee, 
Till my sad tale I tell to thee. 

18 " Oh, we were sisters, sisters seven, 
The fairest women under heaven ; 
And we keist kevels* us amang, 
Wha wou'd to the greenwood gang, 

19 " There, for to pull the finest flow'rs. 
To put around our simmer bow'rs. 
To pull the red rose and the thyme, 
To deck my mother's bow'r ana mine. 

20 " I was the youngest of them all ; 
The heavy weird did me befall; 
Sae to the greenwood I did gang. 
And there I dree'd this cruel wrang. 

21 " For I had scarce puU'd flower but ane, 
There in the greenwood all alane, 

Till ane, wha a king's son seem'd to be, 
Came through the wood and accosted me. 

22 " He wore high-coll'd hose and laigh-coU'd shoon, 
And he kept me there till the day was dune, — 
Till the sun had sunk low in the west, 

And ilka wee bird gane to its nest. 

♦ "Kelst kevels: " cast lots. 

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23 ''He ga'e me a lock of his yellow hair, 
And bade me keep it for evermair; 
Ho ga'e me a carkuet * of bonnie beads, 
And bade me keep it against my needs. 

21 "He ga'e to me a gay gold ring, 

And bade me keep it abune all thing.** 
" What did ye with the tokens rare, 
That ye gat fi'ae that gallant there?*' 

25 " Oh, bring that coffer unto me. 
And aM the tokens ye shall see." 

" Now stay, daughter, your bowV within. 
While I gae parley with my son.** 

26 Oh, she has ta*en her through the hall, 
And on her son began to call : 

" What did ye with the bonnie beads 
I bade ye keep against your needs ? 

27 "What did you with the gay gold ring 
I bade you keep abune all thing?'* 

" I ga*e them to a ladye gay, 
I met in greenwood on a day. 

28 " I wou*d gi'e all my halls and tow'rs. 
I had that ladye within my bow'rs j 
And I wou*d gi'e my very life, 

I had that ladye to be my wife.** 

29 " Now keep, my son, your halls and tow'rs, 
Ye have that bright burd in your bow*rs ; 
And keep, my son, your ain dear life, 

Ye have that ladye for your dear wife.** 

SO Now, or a month was come and gane, 
The ladye she bare a bonnie son ; 
And *twas weel-written on his breast-bane, 
" Oospatrick is my father's name.** 
Oh, row my lady in satin and silk, 
And wash my son in the morning milk. 

• " Carkcet : " a necklaco. Thus :— 

" She threw away her rings and carkuet deen.** 

•^Harrifion'B trauBlatlon of Orlwdif FuHi/$o. Kotos on book 37th. 

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BornwELL. 227 


As stated b^ Sir Walter Scott, Herd's copy is " materially different 
from that'' siven by him under the title of *'Cospatrick." The 
differences diiefly occur in the opening stanzas of Herd's, which 
here follow. But in place of Herd's refrain of 

" Hey down, and adown," 

which is ''repeated at the end of each line," the refrain from 
Buchan's version is here substituted. 

1 As Both well was walking in the lawlanda alano — 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
He met six ladies sae gallant and fine — 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

2 He cast his lot aman^ them all — 

Bowing down, bowing down ; 
And on the youngest his lot did fall— 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

3 He 's brought her frae her mother's bowV — 

Bowing down, bowing down, 

Unto his castle's strongest tow'r — 

And aye the birks a' bowing. 

4 But aye she cried, and made great moan-^ 

Bowing down, bowing down; 
And aye the tear came trickling down — 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

6 *' Come up, come up," said the foremost man — 
Bowing down, bowing down; 
" I think our bride comes slowly on — 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

6 " Oh, lady, sits your saddle awry? 

Bo^ving down, bowing down; 
Or is your steed for you ower high? | 

And aye the birks a' bowing." 

7 " My saddle is not set awry — 

Bowing d^T^m, bowing down, 
Nor carries me my steed ower high— 
And aj'e the birks a' bowing. 

8 " But I am weary of my life- 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
Since I maun be Lord BothwoU's wife— 
And aye the birks a* bowing." 

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9 He ^8 blawn his horn sae sharp and shrill- 
Bowing down, bowing down ; 
Up start the deer on every hill — 
And aye the birks a* bowing. 

10 He 's blawn his horn sae lang and loud — 

Bowing down, bowing down; 
Up start the deer in gude greenwood^ 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

11 His mother look'd o'er the castle wall — 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
And she saw them riding ane and all — 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

12 She 's caird upon her maids by seven — 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
To make his bed baith saft and even — 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

13 She 's call'd upon her cooks by nine— 

Bowing down, bowing down. 
To make their dinner fair and fine — 
And aye the birks a' bowing.** 

14 When day was gane and night was come— 

Bowing down, bowing down; 
" What ails my love on me to frown? 
And aye the birks a* bowing. 

15 "Or does the wind blow in your glove? 

Bowing down, bowing down ; 
Or runs your mind on another love? 
And aye the birks a' bowing." 

16 " Nor blows the ynud within my glove — 

Bowing down, bowing down ; 
, Nor runs my mind on another love— 
And aye the birks a' bowing. 

17 " But I not maid nor maiden am — 

Bowing down, bowing down. 
For Tm with baim to another man — 
And aye the birks a* bowing.'* 

18 '^ I thought I'd a maid sae meek and mild — 

Bowing down, bowing down, 
But I have nought but a woman with child^ 
And aye the birks a' bowing." 
For the remainder of the story, see the previous balIad~"Co8* 
Patrick," stanzas 15 and after. 

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'* A mora sangaine antiqnary than the editor," writes Sir Walter 
Scott, " might peniapa endeavour to identify this x)oem, which is of un- 
doubted antiquity, with the * Broom, Broom on Hill,' mentioned by 
Lane in his Progress of Queen Elizabeth into Warwickshire, as 
forming part of Captain Cox's collection, so much envied bv the 
black-letter antiquaries of the present day.— Dugdale's Warwickshire, 
p. 166. The same ballad is <|uoted bv one of the personages, in a 
* very merry and pythie comedie,' callea * The Longer thou Livest, the 
more Fool thou Art.' See Bitson's Dissertation prefixed to Ancient 
Songs, p. Ix. 'Brume, Brume on Hill' is also mentioned in The 
ComplaipU of Scotland, See Leyden's edition, p. 100." — MinstreUy^ 
vol. iii., p. 28. 

A fragment of this ballad was printed in Herd's Scottish Songs, vol. 
i, p. 168, under the title of "I'll Wager, Til Wager ;" cmnplete 
versions were afterwards given by Einloch, in Ancient Scottish Ballads, 
l\ 195, under the title of ''Lord John;" by Scott, in Minstrelsy, 
vol. iii., p. 28, under the above title ; and by Bnchan^ in Ancient 
Ballads, kc, vol. ii., p. 291, under the title of '* Broomiield Hills." 

The last-named is decidedly the best version, and is the one here 
generally followed, but with additions and emendations from the 
others. Stanza 11 is inserted in order to avoid the repetition, in a 
slightly varied form, of stanzas 7 to 10 inclusive. 

"A Danish ballad exhibits the same theme« though, differently 
treated: 'Sovneruneme,' Grundtvig, No. 81." There is also "a 
modernized English one of no value (' The West Country W.iger') in 
Ancient Poems, &c. Percy Society, vol. xvii., p. 110."— Professor 
Child, English and ScoUish Ballads, voL i., p. 131. 

Kindred ballads are— "The Baffled Knight," Percy's Reliques ; 
"Too Courteous Knight," Ritson's Ancient Songs, vol. ii., p. 54 ; aiul 
" D'Urfey's Pills," Ac, vol. iii., p. 37 ; " The Shepherd's Son," Herd, 
vol. ii, p. 207 ; '* Jock Sheep," Kinloch's Ballad Book, p. 17 ; "The 
Abashed Knight," Buchan's Ancient Ballads, vol. ii., p. 131 ; "Blow 
the Winds, Heigh Ho ! " Ancient Poems, &c. Percy Society, vol. xvii., 
p. 123. 

1 There was a knight, and a lady bright, 

Set a tryst among the broom ; 
The one went there in the morning aor, 
The other in the afternoon. 

2 " I'll wager, Pll wager with you," he said, 

**Fivo hundred merks and ten, 
That yo shall not gang to yon Broomfield hill, 
And a maid return again.'' 

3 " I'll wager, I'll wager with you,*' she said, 

" Five hundred merks and ten, 
That I shall gang to yon Broomfield hilJ^ 
And a maid return again." 

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4 The lady stands in her bow'r door, 

And thus she made her mane, — 
" Oh, Bhall I gang to the Broomfield hill, 
Or shall I stay at hame ? 

5 " If I do gang to the Broomfield hill, 

A maid ril not return ; 
And if I stay frae the Broomfield hill, 
ril be a maid mis-sworn." 

6 It^B up then spake an auld witch- wife, 

Sat in the bow'r aboon, — 
^' Oh, ye shall gang to Broomfield hill. 
And yet come maiden hame. 

7 " When ye gang to the Broomfield hill, 

Walk nine times round and round; 
And there, down by the bonnie bum bank, 
Your love will sleep full sound. 

8 " Ye*ll pull the bloom frae off the broom. 

The bloom that smells sae sweet. 
And strew it at your lover's head. 

And likewise at his feet; 
And aye the thicker that ye strew. 

The sounder he will sleep. 

9 " The rings that are on your fingers, 

Put them on his right hand, 
To let him know, when he does wake, 
Te was at his command. 

10 " The brooch that is on your napkin, 

Put it on his breast-bane. 
That he may know, when he does wake, 
His love has come and gane." 

11 The lady gaed to the Broomfield hill, 

Did as the witch-wife bade. 
And hied her back to her bow'r again, 
A maid, as forth she gaed. 

12 The knight he waken'd frae his sleep, 

And he saw, to his pain, 
By all the tokens she had left, 
His love had come and gane. 

13 ** Oh, where were ye, my gude greyhomid, 

That I paid for sae dear, 
Ye didna waken me frae my sleep. 
When my true love was near ? " 

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14 " I Stroked ye with my foot, mafiter, 

While thus I whining sang, — 

* Oh, waken, waken, dear master, 

Before your love does gang.*" 

15 " Oh, where were ye, my milk-white steed, 

That I ha^e coft sae dear, 
That ye did not watch and waken me, 
When there came maiden hero?" 

16 "I stampit with my foot, master, 

Until my bridle rang; 
And aye neigh'd, — * Waken, dear master, 
Before the maiden gang.' " 

17 " Then wae betide ye, my gay gos-hawk, 

That I did love so dear, 
That ye did not watch and waken mo, 
When my love was sae near." 

18 '* I flappit with mv wings, master, 

Ana aye my bells I rang ; 
And aye sang, — * Waken, gude master, 
Before the ladye gang.*" 

19 " Oh, where were ye, my merry young man, 

That I pay meet and fee, 
That ye did not waken me frae my sleep, 
When my love ye did see ? *' 

20 " Go sooner to your bed at e*en, 

And keep awake by day, 
When ye go down to Broomfield hill, 
In hope sic pranks to play. 

21 " For had I seen an armed man 

Go riding o'er the hill, 
I wou*d ha'e stay'd him in his course 

Until I kenn'd your will ; 
But I only saw a fair ladye 

Gang quietly you until. 

22 " When she gaed out, richt bitter she wept, 

But singing came she name, — 

* Oh, I ha^ been at Broomfield hill, 

And maid return'd again.' " 

23 '^ But haste, and haste, my gude white steed, 

To come the maiden till, 
Or all the birds of eude greenwood 
Of your flesh shall have their fill." 

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24 *• Ye needna burst your gudo wLitc steed, 
With racing o'er the howm ; 
Nae bird flies faster through the wood 
Than she fled through the broom/' 


** The locality of this ballad — Barnisdale— will bring to the remem- 
brance of the reader," says Motherwell, ''tales of Robin Hood and 
Little John, who, according to the testimony of Andrew of Wyntown, 

* In YngOwode and Bornysdale, 
Their oysed aU this tymo tharo travaile.* 

Whether the ballad is originally the production of an English or of a 
Scotch minstrel, admits of question ; certain, however, it is, that it 
has been received into both countries at a pretty early jieriod. 
Hearne, in his preface to OuL Nevbrigiensis Hi toria, Oxon., 1719, 
voL i., p. Ixx., mentions that * The Knight and Shepherd's Daughter * 
was well known in the time of Queen Elizabeth. In Fletcher's 
'Pilgrim,' act iv., scene 2, a stanza of the same ballad is quoted. 
The English version of this ballad is given iu the Heliques of English 
Poetry, vol. iii. There are various copies of it current in Scotland ;'* 
as, for instance, '*£arl Richard," first published by Mr. Motherwell, 
in his Afinstrelsi/f p. 377, and afterwards by Mr. Buchan, from 
whom Mr. Motherwell had received it ; in Andent Ballads and Songs, 
vol ii., p. 81 (see antCy ^. 22). Another and different version, alao from 
recitation, followed it in the same work and volume (p. 91), under 
the title of ** Earl Lithgow;" but previous to the appearance of the 
last-named work and version, two other printed versions were given 
by Mr. Kinloch, in his Ancient Scottish BaUads^ under the respec- 
tive tities of " Earl Richard," p. 13, and ** The Shepherd's Daughter," 
p. 25. The present version has been collated from the Scotish ver- 
sions here referred to, but chiefly from the two furnished by Mr. 
Buchan. Stanzas 1 to 12 are peculiar to the first-named Scotish 
version, and are here nrinted ail but verbatim. Mr. Motherwell, 
referring to it, afiirms that it '* is out of sight the most circumstan- 
tial and elaborated that has yet been printed, [that] it possesses no 
small i)ortion of humour, and [that] it appears to be of greater anti- 
quity than the copy published in the Beliques," 

" The artifices," says Kinloch, " which the lady practises to main- 
tain the character of a * beggar's brat,' and the lively description 
which she gives of the * gentle craft,' are kept up with great spirit and 
fancy. The English copy, which is decidedly inferior both m poeti- 
cal composition and archness of humour, is entirely destitute of this 
part, even in allusion." Professor Child also states it as his opiniou 
that the ** Scottish versions " are " superior to the Enelish in everv 
respect." * ^ 

1 Earl Richard once upon a day, 

And all his valiant men so wight, 
He hied him down to Barnisdale, 
Where all the land is fair and light. 

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2 And there he met with a damosel, 

I wot fast on she did her bound, 
With tow'rs of gold upon her head, 
As fair a woman as cou^d be found. 

3 He said — " Busk you, busk you I fair ladye, 

With the white flowers and the red; 
And I wou'd give my bonnie ship. 
If I your love and favour had." 

4 *' 1 wish your ship might rent and rive, 

And drown you in the sea ; 
For all this wou'd not mend the miss 

Tliat you wou'd do to me." 
" Tlie miss is not so great, ladye — 

Soon mended it might be. 

5 "In Scotland IVe four-and-twenty mills, 

Stand on the water Tay : 
You'll have them, and as much good flour 
As they'll grind in a day." 

G "I wish your bonnie ship rent and rive. 
And drown you in the sea ; 
For all that wou'd not mend the miss 

That you wouM do to me." 
" The miss is not so great, ladye— 
Soon mended it might be. 

7 "I have four-and-twenty milk-white cows, 

Were all calved in one day : 
You'll have them, and as much hain*d grass 
As they all on can gae." 

8 "I wish your bonnie ship rent and rive. 

And drown you in the sea; 
For all that wou'd not mend the miss 

That you wou'd do to me." 
" The miss is not so great, ladye — 

Soon mended it might be. 

9 "I have four-and-twenty milk-white steeds, 

Were all foal'd in one year: 
You'll have them, and as much red gold 
As all their backs can bear." 

10 She turn'd her right and round about. 
And she swore by the mold ; 
" I would not be your love," said she, 
" For that church full of gold." 

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11 Ho tum*d him right and round abont, 

And he swore by the mass; 
Says — " Ladye, ye my love shall be, 
And gold ye soall have less." 

12 She tnm'd her right and round about, 

And she swore by the moon ; 
" I would not be your love," says she, 
" For all the gold in Rome.'* 

13 He tumM him right and round about, 

And he swore by the moon; 
Says — " Ladye, ye my love shall be, 
And gold ye shall have none/' 

14 He caught her by the milk-white hand, 

The gude g^reenwood amang; 
And for all that she cou'd say or do, 
He did her sairly wrang. 

15 The ladye frown'd and sadly blush'd, 

And oh I but she thought shame; 
Says — " If you are a knight at all, 
Youll surely tell your name." 

16 ^' In some places they call me Jack, 

In others they call me John; 
But when I am in the qaeen's court, 
Then Lithcock is my name." 

17 " Lithcock ! Lithcock ! " the ladye said. 

And spelt it o*er again; 
" Lithcock is Latin," the ladye said, 
" But Richard *s your English name." 

18 Then he has mounted on his horse, 

And said he wou'd go ride; 
And she has kilted her green clothes, 
And said she wou'd not bide. 

19 The knight he rode, the ladye ran, 

A live-long summer's day, 
Till they came to the wan water, 
That all men do call Tay. 

20 He set his horse head to the water, 

Just through it for to ride; 
And the ladye was as ready as him, 
The waters for to wade. 

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21 For he was ne'er bo kind-hearted 

As to bid the ladye ride; 
And she was ne'er so low-hearted 
As for to bid him bide. 

22 Bat deep into the wan water, 

Close by a great big stone, 
He tumM his wight horse head aboat, 
Said — " Ladye fair, loup on." 

23 She 's taken the wand was in her hand, 

And struck it on the foam; 
" Ye need not stop for me," she said, 
" Sir Knight, ye may ride on. 

24 " I learn'd it from my mother dear, 

There 's few ha'e learn'd it better- 
When I come to a deep water, 
I can swim like ony otter. 

25 " I learn'd it from my mother dear, 

I learn'd it for my weal — 
When I come to a deep water, 
I can swim like ony eel. 

20 ** Bv the help of God and Our Ladye, 
1 11 swim across the tide ; " 
And ere he reached the middle stream, 
She was on the other side. 

27 And when she reach'd the other side, 

She sat down on a stone ; 
She sat down there to rest herself, 
And wait till he came on. 

28 " Turn back, turn back, you ladye fair. 

You know not what I see; 
There is a ladye in that castle, 

That will bum you and me." 
" Betide me weal, betide me woe. 

That ladye I wQl see." 

29 Then she's gane on to the queen's court, 

And there tirl'd at the pin; 
The porter ready answer made. 
To see who wou'd be in. 

SO She gave a ring from her finger, 
To the porter for his fee; 
Says — " Take you that, my good porter. 
The queen I fain wou'd see." 

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31 Tho porter ho went to the queen, 
And knelt low on his knee ; 
" There is a ladyc waits at your gates, 
Saj's she wou*d fain you see." 

82 " Then open my gates both wide and braid, 

As wide as they can be ; 
Ye^l open my gates both wide and braid, 
And bring her here to me." 

83 And when she came before the queen, 

She fell low on her knee ; 
" Win up, win up, my fair woman, 
What means this conrtesie? " 

31 " Mv errand it's to thee, queen I 
My errand it 's to thee ; 
There is a knight into vour court 
Who has this day robb'd me." 

85 " Oh, has he robb'd you of your gold, 

Or robb'd you of your fee?'' 
** He has not robb'd mo of my gold, 

Nor robb'd me of my fee; 
But robb'd me of what 's dearer still, 

The flow'r of my bodie." 

SG *' There is no knight in all my court 
Has done this wrang to thee. 
But you'll have the troth of his right hand, 
Or for your sake he'll dee.* 

37 " Tho' it were Earl Richard, my own brother,- 

But, oh! forbid it be!" 
Then, sighing, said the ladye fair, 
" I wot that it is he." 

38 " Oh, wou'd ye ken this dastard knight 

Among a hundred men?" 
" That wou'd I," said the bonnie lass, 
'* Tho' there were hundreds ten." 

89 The queen made all her merry men pass, 
By ane, and twa, and three ; 
Earl Richard used to be the first, 
But the hindmost now was he. 

• Variation : " Oh, if he bo a single nuin. 

Tour husband he ahall be; 
But if he be a married man. 
It's high hang'd ho shall be.** 

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40 He came hirpling on ae foot, 

And blinking with ae e'e; 
** Aba I" then cried the bonnie lass, 
" That same young man are ye." 

41 He laid his brand and a gay gold ring 

Together on a stone; 
She minted twice to take the brand, 
And then the ring put on. 

42 Then ho 's ta'en out one hundred pounds, 

And told it in his glove; 
Says — " Take you that, my ladye fair, 
And seek another love." 

43 " Oh no, oh no," the ladye cried, 

'* That's what shall never be; 
ril have the troth of your right hand; 
The queen she gave it me." 

44 " I wish I had drunk the wan water, 

When I did drink the wine ; 
That now for a carle's fair daughter, 
It gars me dree this pine." 

45 " Maybe I am a carle's daughter. 

And maybe I am none ; 
But when we met in the greenwood, 
Why not let me alone?" 

4G " Will you wear the short clothing, 
Or will you wear the syde? 
Or will you walk to ^our wedding. 
Or will you to it ride?" 

47 " I will not wear the short clothing, 

But I will wear the syde; 
I will not walk to my wedding. 
But I to it will ride." 

48 When he was set upon the horse. 

The lady him behin', 
Then cauld and eerie were the words 
The twa had them between. 

49 She said — " Gude e'en, ye nettles tall, 

Where ye grow by tho dyke; 
If the aula carline, my mother, was here, 
Sae weel 's she wou'd you pyke. 

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60 " How she wou'd stap you in her pock, 

I wot she wou'dna fail; 
And boil ye in her auld brass pan, 
And of ye make gude kail. 

61 " And she wou'd meal you with mellering • 

That she gathers at the mill. 
And make you thick as any dough, 
Till the pan it was brimful. 

62 " She wou'd mess you up with scuttlins, 

To sup till she were fu', 
Then lay her head upon a pock, 
And snore like any sow." 

53 " Oh, hold your tongue, ye beggar's brat. 
My heart will break in three I " . 
" And so did mine in yon greenwood, 
When ye wou'dna let me be. 

64 " Gude e'en, gude e'en, ye heather berries. 
There growing on the hill ; 
If the auld carle and his pocks were here, 
I wot he'd get his fill. 

55 " Last night I sat till I was tired, 
And mended at their pocks ; 
But to-morrow morning I will bear 
The keys of an earl's locks. 

5G " Late, late last night, through baith their pocks, 
I drew the hempen strings; 
But to-morrow morning I will wear 
On my fingers gay gold rings." 

57 " Away I away! ye ill woman, 

Your vile words grieve me sair; 
When you heed so Tittle for yourself, 
For me still less ye'U care. 

68 " But if you are a carle's daughter, 
As I take you to be, 


How did you get the gay clothing 
That on ye I do see? ''^ 

" My mother she is a poor woman, 

Nursed an earl's children three ; 

And I got them from a foster-sister, 

To beguile such sparks as thee." 

• "Mellering:** coTrapUon ot meldering. 

t " ScattUns : ** light flonr made from Inferior grain. 

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60 " But if you be a carle's daughter, 

As I take you to be, 
How did ye learn the good Latin 
That ye spoke unto me?" 

61 " My mother she is a mean woman, 

Nursed an earl's children three ; 
I learnM it from their chapelain, 
To beguile such sparks as thee." 

62 Then to a beggar wife that pass'd, 

The ladye tiang a crown; 
" Tell all your neighbours, when ye go hamo, 
Earl Richard 's your gude-son." * 

63 " Oh, hold your tongue, ye beggar's brat. 

My heart will break in three I " 
" And so did mine in yon greenwood, 
When ye wou'dna let me be." 

64 And when they to Earl Richard's came. 

And were at dinner set. 
Then out and spake the bonnie bride, 
I wot she was not blate. 

65 '^ Go, .take away the china plates, 

Go, take them far frae me. 
And bring to me a wooden aish— 
It 's that I'm best used wi'. 

66 " And take away these silver spoons, 

The like I ne'er did see. 
And bring to me the horn spoons — 
They're gude enough for me." 

67 When bells were rung and mass was sung, 

And all men bound for rest. 
Earl Richard and his bonnie bride 
In ae chamber were placed. 

68 " Oh, take away your sheets," she said, 

" Made of the Holland fine. 
And bring to me the linsey clouts. 
That lang ha'e served as mine.'* 

69 " Keep far away from me," he said, 

" Keep far away from me; 

It is not meet a carline's brat 

My bedfellow shou'd be," 

• "Qndc-«onV Boo-ln-lftir. 

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70 " It 's maybe I*m a carline's brat, 

And maybe I am none; 
But when we met in yon greenwood, 
Why not let me alone?" 

71 " Now rest content," said the Billy Blin', 

" The one may serve the other; 
The Earl of Stockford's fair daughter, 
And the queen of Scotland's brother." 

72 " Oh, fair fall you, ye Billy Blin', 

Since such is her degree; 

For with this witty lady fair, 

How happy must I be I " 


" Earl Richard," which precedes, and "Burd Helen," which follows, 
must either have had one common origin, or the one has borrowed 
largely from the other. The various versions of the latter ballad are 
as under :~ 

I. " Chad Waters," published by Percy from his folio MS. 

Jicliques, vol. iii, p. 94. 
ir. " Burd Ellen," in Jamieson's Popular Ballads, voL i., p. 
112 ; where it is "given from Mrs. Brown's recitation," 
and "with scrupulous exactness, except where the varia- 
tions are pointcxl out." 

III. "An imperfect copy," prefixed to the last-named, and 

communicated to Mr. Jamieson by ''Mrs. Arret of 

IV. " Lady Margaret," in Kinloch's AncioU Scottish BcUlcuIs, 

p. 179. 
V. " Burd Helen," in Buchan's Ancient BaUada and Songs, 
vol. ii, p. 30. 
VL " Burd Helen," in Chambers's Scottish Ballads, p. 193 ; 
collated from the above-named, with additions and 
emendations, from a MS. supplied by Mr. Kinloch. 
The text which follows is chiefly derived from Mr. Jamieson's and 
Mr. Buchan's versions. 

1 Lord John stood at his stable door, 

While a groom his steed did kaira ; 
Burd Helen sat at her bow'r door, 
Sewing her silken seam. 

2 Lord John stood in his stable door, 

Said he was bound to ride ; 
Burd Helen stood in her bow'r door, 
Said she'd run by his Fide. 

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3 " The corn is turning ripe, Lord John, 

The nuts are growing fu', 
And ye are bound for your ain countric,— 
Fain wou*d I go with you." 

4 "With me, Helen! with me, Helen! 

What wou*d ye do with mo ? 
IVe mair need of a little page, 
Than of the like of thee." 

6 " Oh, I will be your little page. 

To wait upon your steed ; 
And I will be j'our little page, 
Your leash of hounds to lead." 

C "But my hounds will eat the bread of wheat, 
And ye the dust and bran ; 
Then you will sit and sigh, Helen, 
That e'er our loves began." 

7 " Oh, vour dogs may eat the gude wheat bread, 

And I the dust and bran; 
Yet I will sing and say — * Well 's me, 
Tliat e'er our loves began! '" 

8 " Oh, I may drink the gude red wine, 

And you the water wan; 
Then you will sigh and say — * Alas, 
That e'er our loves began ! ' " 

" Oh, you may drink the gude red wine. 
And I the water wan ; 
Yet I will sing and say — * Well 'a me, 
That our two loves began!'" 

10 " Oh, you'd better stay at hamo, Helen, 

And sew your silken seam. 
Than go with me o'er moss and moor, 
And many a foaming stream." 

11 "I will not stay at hame. Lord Jolm, 

And sew my silken seam: 
I'll follow you o'er moss and moor. 
And o'er each foaming stream." 

12 Lord John he mounted his white steed, 

And northward hame did ride; 
Burd Helen, dress'd in page attire, 
Ban onward by his side. 

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13 He ne'er was sic a courteous knight, 

As ask her for to ride; 
And she was ne*er so mean a May, 
As ask him for to bide. 

14 Lord John he rade, Burd Helen ran, 

A live-long summer day; 
And when they came to Clyde water, 
*Twas filled from brae to brae. 

15 The first step that she waded in, 

She waded to the knee : 
"Alas I alas I" said Burd Helen, 
" This water 's no for me." 

16 The next step that she waded in, 

She waded to the neck; 
And then she felt her unborn babe 
For cauld begin to quake. 

17 " Lye still, lye still, my unborn babe, 

I can no better do; 
Your father rides on high horseback, 
But cares not for us two." 

18 About the middle of the Clyde 

There stood an earth-fast stone ; 

And there she caird to God for help. 

Since help from man came none. 

19 Lord John he turn*d him round about, 

And took Burd Helen on; 
Then brought her to the other side, 
And there he set her down. 

20 " Oh, tell me this now, good Lord John, 

In pity tell to me. 
How far is it to your lodging, 
Where we this night should be ? " 


" It's thirty miles, Burd Helen," he said, 
" It 's thirty miles and three.*' 

" Oh, wae is me," said Burd Helen, 
" It will ne'er be run by me ! " 

22 Then up and spake out in good time 
A pyet on a tree, — 
" Ye lee, ye lee, ye false, false knight, 
So loud as I hear you lee. 

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23 " For yonder stand your goodly tow'rs, 

Of miles scarce distant three." 
" Oh, well is me," said Burd Helen, 
" They shall be run by me." 

24 " But there is a ladye in yon castle 

Will sinder you and I." 
" Betide me weal, betide me woe, 
I shall go there and try. 

25 " I wish no ill to your ladye, 

She ne'er did ill to me; 
But I wish her most of your love, 
Who drees the most for thee. 

26 " I wish no ill to your ladye. 

For sic I never thought; 
But I wish her most of your love, 
Has dearest that love bought." 

27 Lord John was welcomed hame again 

By ladies fair and gay; 
But a fairer ladye than any there 
Did lead his horse away. 

28 Four-and-twenty ladies fair 

Sat with him in the hall ; 
But the fairest ladye that was thero 
Did wait upon them all. 

29 When bells were run^ and mass was sung, 

And all were bound to meat, 
Burd Helen was at the bye-table, 
Amang the pages set. 

80 " Oh, eat and drink, my bonnie boy, 
The white bread and the beer." 
" The never a bit can I eat or drink— 
My heart 's sae full of fear." 

31 " Oh, eat and drink, my bonnie boy, 
The white bread and the wine." 
" Oh, how shall I eat or drink, master, 
With a heart sae full of pine? "^ 

82 Then up and spake Lord John's sister, 
A sweet yoimg maid was she: 
"My brother has brought the bonniest page 
That ever I did see.^ 

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33 But out thcQ spako Lord John's mother, 
A wise woman was she : 
" Where met ye with that bonnie boy, 
That looks so sad on thee ? 

84 ^^ Sometimes his cheek is rosy red, 
And sometimes deadly wan; 
Ho ^8 liker a woman big with bairn, 
Than a young lord's serving manJ* 

35 " Oh, it makes me laugh, my mother dear, 

Sic words to hear frae thee; 
He is a squire's ae dearest son, 
That for love has followed me. 

36 " Rise up, rise up, my bonnie boy, 

Give my horse baith corn and hay." 
" Oh, that I will, my master dear. 
As quickly as I may." 

37 She 's ta'en the hay beneath her arm. 

The corn in till her hand. 
And she's gane to the great stable 
As fast as e'er she can. 

38 " Oh, room ye round, my bonnie brown steeds, 

Oh, room ye near the wall ; 
For the pain that strikes through my twa sides, 
I fear, will gar me fall.'* 

39 She lean'd her back against the wall, 

Strong travail came her on ; 
And e'en amang the horses' feet, 
Burd Helen bare her son. 

40 Lord John's mother intill her bow'r 

Was sitting all alane. 
When, in the silence of the night, 
She heard Burd Helen's mane. 

41 " Won up, won up. my son," she said, 

" Go see how all does fare; 
For I think I hear a woman's groans. 
And a baimio greetin' sair!" 

42 Oh, hastily he got him up, 

Staid not for hose nor shoon ; 
But to the stable where she lay, 
He quickly hied hira down. 

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43 " Oh, open the door, Burd Helen," ho said, 
" Oh, open and let me in : 
I want to see if my steeds are fed, 
And what makes all this din.'* 

41 " How can I open, how shall I open. 
How can I open to thee? 
I'm lying amang your horses' feet, 
Your young son on my knee.'* 

45 He hit the door then with his foot, 

Sao did ho with his knee. 
Till door of deal and locks of steel 
In splinters he gar'd flee. 

46 " An askin', an askin'. Lord John," she said, 

" An askin' ye'll grant me : 
The warsten bow'r in all your tow'rs 
For thy young son and me." 

47 " Oh yes, oh yes I Burd Helen," ho said, 

^' All ^at and mair frae mc; 
The veiy best bow'r in all my tow'rs 
For my young son and thee." 

48 ^' An askin', an askin', Lord John," she said, 

*' An askin' ye'll grant me : 
The meanest maid m all the place 
To wait on him and me." 

49 "I grant, I grant, Burd Helen," he said, 

'^ All that and mair frae me : 
The very best bed in all the placo 
To my young son and thee. 

50 " The highest ladye in all the placo 

Shall wait on him and thee; 
And that *s my sister, Isabel, 
And a sweet young maid is she. 

51 " Take up, take up, my bonnie young son, 

Gar wash him with the milk ; 
Take up, take up ray fair ladye, 
Gar row her in the silk. 

52 ** And cheer thee up, Burd Helen," he said, 

" Look nao mair sad nor wae. 
For your wedding and your kirking too 
Shall baith be m ae day." 

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''This ezcellent ballad is from the recitation of Mr. Nicol, Strichen, 
and was oommnnicated by Mr. P. Bucban, of Peterhead, to Mr. 
Motherwell," in whose Minstrelgy, p. 298, it first appeared. See 
aTiUy p. 22. 

This ballad may also be fonnd in Mr. Bachan's own collection of 
Ancient Ballads^ vol. iL, p. 70. It resembles, in some respects, "The 
Twa Knights," which appears in the same work and volume, p. 271. 

A similar Scandinavian ballad, as translated by Mr. Robert 
Buchanan, may be found in his volume. Ballad Stories of the Affec- 
tions, p. 45, under the title of " Maid MetteliL" 

1 When Reedisdale and Wise William 

Were drinking at the wine, 
There fell a roosing them amang, 
On an unruly tinie. 

2 For some of them ha'o rocsed tlieir hawks, 

And some other their hounds; 
And some other their ladies fair, 
As the roosing went the rounds. 

3 When out it spake him Reedisdalo, 

And a rash word spake he; 
Says — " There is not a ladye fair, 

In bow'r where'er she be, 
But I cou*d aye her favour win 

With one blink of my e'e." 

4 Then out it spake him Wise William, 

And a rash word spake he; 
Says — "I have a sister of my own, 

In bow'r where'er she be, 
And ye will not her favour win 

With three blinks of your e'e." 

5 "What will you wager. Wise William? 

My lands rll wad with thee; " 
" I'll wad my head against your laud. 
Till I get more monie." 

C Then Reedisdale took Wise William, 
Laid him in prison Strang, 
That he might neither gang nor rido, 
Nor ao word to her send. 

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7 But he has written a braid letter, 

Between the night and day, 
And sent it to his own sister, 
By dun feather and gray. 

8 When she had read Wise William's letter, 

She smiled and syne she leuch; 
Said — "Very weel, my dear brother, 
Of this I have eneuch." 

9 She looked out at her west window. 

To see what she could see, 
And there she spied him Beedisdale, 
Come riding o'er the lea. 

10 "Come here to me, my maidens all. 

Come hither^ard to me; 
For here it comes him Beedisdale, 
Who comes a-courting me." 

1 1 "Come down, come down, my ladye fan*, 

A sight of you give me." 
"Go from my yetts now, Beedisdale, 
For me you will not see." 

12 "Come down, come down, my ladye fair, 

A sight of you give me; 
And bonnie are the gowns of silk 
That I will give to thee." 

13 "If you have bonnie gowns of silk, 

Oh, mine is bonnie tee; 
Go from my yetts now, Beedisdale, 
For me you shall not see." 

1-i " Come down, come down, my ladye fair, 
A sight of you give me; 
And bonnie jewels, brooches, rings, 
I will give unto thee." , 

. 15 " If you have bonnie brooches, rings, 
Oh, mine are bonnie tee; 
Go from my yetts now, Beedisdale, 
For me you shall not see." 

16 " Come down, come down, my ladye fair. 
One sight of you give me; 

And bonnie are the halls and bowVs 
That I will give to thee." 

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17 "If you have bonnie halls and bowers, 

Oh, mine are bonnie tee; 
Go from my yetts now, Reedisdale, 
For me you shall not see." 

18 " Come down, come down, my ladye fair, 

A sight of you give me ; 
And bonnie are my lands so broad 
That I will give to thee." 

19 "If you have bonnie lands so broad, 

Oh, mine are bonnie tee; 
Gro from my yetts now, Reedisdale, 
For me you will not see." 

20 " Come down, come down, my ladye fair, 

A sight of you give me ; 
And bonnie are the bags of gold 
That I will give to thee." 

21 " If you have bonnie bags of gold, 

I have bags of the same; 
Qo from my yetts now, Beedisdalo, 
For down I will not come." 

22 " Come down, come down, my ladye fair, 

One sight of you Til see; 
Or else lUl set your house on lire, 
If better cannot be." 

23 Then he has set the house on fire. 

And at the first it took; 
He turned his wight horse head about, 
Said—" Alas I they'll ne'er get out." 

21 " Look out, look out, my maidens fair, 
And see what I do see; 
How Beedisdale has fired our house, 
And now rides o'er the leal 

25 " Come hitherward, my maidens fair, 

Come hither unto me; 
For through this reek, and through this smeek, 
Oh, through it we must be I " 

26 Thev took wet mantles them about. 

Their coffers by the band ; 
And through the reek and through the flame 
Alive they all have wan. 

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27 When they had got out through the fire, 

And able all to stand, 
She sent a maid to Wise William, 
To bruik Beedisdale's land. 

28 " Your lands are mine now, Beedisdale, 

For I have won them free." 
" If there is a good woman in the world, 
Your ain sister is she.'* 


'* Is a fragment, and now printed," says Mr. Motherwell, ''in the 
hope that me remainder of it may hereafter be recovered. From 
circnmstimces, one would almost be inclined to trace it to a Danish 
source; or it may be an episode of some forgotten metrical romance ; 
but this cannot satisfactorily be ascertained, from its catastrophe 
being unfortunately wanting." This fragment first appeared in 
Motnerweirs Minstrelsy, x>- 345, and afterwards in Mr. Buchan's 
Ancient Ballads, voL ii, p. 75. It appears here in a revised and 
amended form. 

1 When two lovers love each other weel, 

'Twere sin to have them twined ; 
And this I speak of young Bearwell, * 

Who loved a ladye kind, — 
The Mavor's danghter of Birktoun-bi-ae, 

That lovely liesome thing. 

2 One dav, as she was looking out, 

Washing her milk-white hands, 
Then she beheld him, young BearweD, 
As he came o^er the sands. 

3 Says — " Wae's me for you, young Bearwell, 

Such tales of you are tauld ; 
They'll cause you sail the salt sea far, 
Beyond Orcades cauld." 

4 '^ Oh 1 shall I bide in good greenwood. 

Or here in bowV remain? " 
" The leaves are thick in good greenwood, 

Wou'd hold you from the rain ; 
And if you stay in bow'r with me, 

You will be ta'en and slain. 

5 " But ni cause build a ship for you. 

Upon Saint Innocent's day ; 
I'll pray Saint Innocent be your guide. 

And Our Ladye, who meikle may. 
You are a ladyo's first true love, 

God carry you well away I " 

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6 Then he sailed east and he (bailed west. 

By many a comely strand ; 
At length a puflF of northern wind 
Did blow him to the land, 

7 Where he did see the king and court 

Were playing at the ball, 

Gave him a 'harp into his hand, 

And welcomed him withal. 

8 He has ta'en up the harp in hand, 

And unto play went he; 
And young Bearwell was the first man 
In all that companie. 

9 He had not been in the king^s court 

A twelvemonth and a day, 
Till there came many a lord and laird, 
To court that ladye gay. 

10 Thev wooed her baith with brooch and ring, 

They nothing could keep back ; 
The very charters of their lands 
Into her hands they pat. 

11 She's done her down to her fiall,* 

With the ae light of the muno ; 
Says — " Will ye do this deed for mo, 
And will ye do it sune? 

12 " Will ye go seek him, young Bearwcll, 

On seas where'er he be ? 
And if I live and bruikf my life, 
Rewarded ye shall be." 

13 "Alas! I am too young a skipper, 

So far to sail the faem ; ... 
But if I live and bruik my life, 
ni strive to bring him hame." 

14 So he saiPd east and then sail'd west. 

By many a comely strand. 
Till there came a blast of northern wind. 
And blew him to the land. 

15 And there the king and all his court 

Were playing at the ball. 
And Bearwell, with his harp in hand, 
Play*d sweetly *mang them all. 

* "Flail: ** feudal Yasaal. t "Bruik:" endnie or onjoy. 

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From Buchan's Ancient BaUads, voL ii., p. 223. 

1 Ghil Ether and Ladye Maisry • 

Were baith bom at ae birth; 
They lov'd each other tenderlie, 
'Boon everything on earth. 

2 " The ley likesna the summer show'r, 

Nor girse the morning dew, 
Better, dear Ladye Maisry, 
Than Chil Ether loves you." 

3 " The bonnie doo likesna its mate, 

Nor babe at breast its mither, 
Better, my dearest Chil Ether, 
Than Maisry loves her brither." 

4 But he needs gae to gain renown, 

Into some far countrie ; 
Sae Ghil Ether has gane abroad. 
To fight in Payniinie. 

5 And he has been in Paynimie 

A twelvemonth and a day; 
But tidings ne'er to Maisry came, 
Of his welfare to say. 

C Tlien she 's ta'en ship awa to sail, 
Out ower the roaring faem, 
All for to find him Chil Ether, 
And for to bring him hame. 

7 She hadna saiPd the sea a month, 

A month but barely three, 
Until she landed on Cyprus shore. 
By the mune-light sae hie. 

8 Ladye Maisry did on her green mantle, 

Took her purse in her hand, 
And caird to her her mariners, 
Syne walk'd up thro' the land. 

9 Oh, she walk'd up, and she walk'd down. 

Till she reach'd a castle high; 
And there sat down on the door-stane. 
And wept right bitterlie. 

* Childe Arthur, or A'thur. The last Is the yolgar pronnnolatioii in Edinburgh, 
where Arthur's Seat is caUed " A'Uiar'a Seat" 

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10 Then out it spake a sweet, sweet voice, 

Out o'er the castle wall: 
" Oh, isna that Ladye Maisry, 
That lets the tears down fall? 

11 " But if that be Ladye Maisry, 

Let her make mirth and glee; 
For Tm her brother, Chil Ether, 
That loves her tenderlie. 

12 " But if that bo Ladye Maiary, 

Let her take purse in hand, 
And gang to yonder castle wall, — 
They call it Gorinand; 

13 " Spier for the lord of that castle, 

Give him dollars thirty- three ; 
Tell him to ransom Chil Ether, 
That loves you tenderlie." 

14 She 's dune her up to that castle, 

Paid down her gude monic; 
A!id she has ransom'd Chil Ether, 
Then hame baith crossed the sea. 


From Mothen^'ell's Minstrelsy, appendix, p. ix. "This carious bal- 
lad, "says Mr. Motherwell, **is of reapectabte antiquity. Dunbar has 
written a piece, entitled, * Prayer that the King war John Thomscwn'a 
Man,* the fourth line of each stanza being, 'God, gif ye war John Thom- 
soun, man I' In his note on this poem, Mr. Pinkerton says : 'This is 
a proverbial expression, meaning a henpecked husband. I have little 
doubt but the original proverb was Joan Thomson^s man ; man, in 
Scotland, signifies either husband or servant,* Pinkerton was igno- 
rant of the existence of the ballad : had he been acquainted with it, 
he would have saved himself the trouble of writing a foolish conjec- 
ture. Colville, in his Whigf^ Supplication^ or the Scotch Hudibraa, 
alludes twice to John Thomson :— 

*We rend in greatest warriors* lires, 
They oft were ruled by their wiveB, &c 
And BO the imperious Boxalan 
Mode the great Turk Johne Thomson's man.' 
Again — 

*— And these, we ken, 
Have ever been John Thomson's men, 
That is stlU nUed by fhelr wires.* 

** Pennicuik, in his * Linton Address to the Prince of Orange,* also 
alludes to the proverbial expression :— 

'Our Liniottn "Wives shall blaw the coal, 
And women hero, as weel we ken. 
Would hare Us all John f^om$on'$ men. 

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" Two or three stanzas of the ballad were known to Dr. Leyden 
when he published his edition of The Coniplaynt of Scotland, These 
he has given in the glossary appended to that work. 

''In Kelly's Proverbs^ London, 1721, there is this notice of the 
proverb, — 'Setter be John Thomson's man than Ringan Dinn's or 
John Knox's ; ' and Kelly gives this gloss, — 'John Thomson's man is he 
that is complaisant to his wife's humours ; Eingan Dinn's is he whom 
his wife scolds; John Knox's is he whom his wife beats.' In the 
West Country, my friend, Mr. A. Crawford, informs me that when a 
company arp sitting together sociably, and a neighbour drops in, it is 
usual to welcome him thus, — 'Come awa, we're a' John Tamson's 

" There is a song about John Tamson's wallet, but whether this 
was the palmer's scrip, which the hero of the ballad must have borne, 
I know not. All that I have heard concerning the wallet is con- 
tained in these two verses : — 

' Jolm Tamson's wallet frae end to end, 
John Tamson's wallet frae end to end; 
And what was in't ye fain would ken,— 
'Whigmaleeries for women and men. 

'About his wallet there was a dispute : 
Some said it was made o* the skin o' a brnte, 
But I believe it 's made o' the best o' bend, 
John Tamson's wallet, frae end to end.' 

There is also a nursery rhyme which runs thus :— 

* John Tamson and his man 
To the town ran ; 
They bought and they sold, 
And the penny down told. 
The kirk was ane, 
The quire was twa; 
And cam' awa.' 

And this exhausts all I know respecting this worthy warrior." 

1 John Thomson fought against the Turks 

Three years^ intil a far countrie ; 
And all that time, and something mair, 
Was absent from his gay ladye. 

2 But it fell ance upon a time, 

As this }roung chieftain sat alane, 
lie spied his ladye in rich array, 
As she walk'd ower a rural plain. 

3 " What brought ye here, my ladye gay, 

So far awa from your ain countrie ? ' 
I've thought lang, and very lang, 
And all for your fair face to see." 

4 For some days she did with him bide, 

Till it fell ance upon a day, — 
" Fare ye weel, for a time," she said, 
** For now I must boun hame away." 

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5 He 's gi'en to her a jewel fine, 

Was set with pearl and precions stane; 
Says—" My love, beware of these savages bold, 
That's in your way as ye gang hame. 

G " Ye'll take the road, my ladye fair. 
That leads you fair across the lea: 
That keeps you from wild Hind Soldan, 
And likewise from base Violentne. 

' 7 With heavy heart they twa did part, 
She mintet as she wou'd gae hame; 
Hind Soldan by the Greeks was slam. 
But to base Violentrie she's gane. 

8 When twelve months they had expired, 

John Thomson he thought wondrous lang, 
And he has written a braid letter. 
And seal'd it weel with his ain hand. 

9 He sent it with a small vessel 

That there was quickly gaun to sea ; 
And sent it on to fair Scotland, 
To see about liis gay ladye. 

10 But the answer ho received again— 

The lines did grieve his heart right sair: 
Nane of her friends there had her seen 
For twelve months and something mair. 

11 Then he put on a palmer's weed. 

And took a pike-staff in his hand ; 
To Violentrie's castle he hied. 
But slowly, slowly he did gang. 

1 2 When within the hall he came, 

He jook'd and couch'd out ower his tree ; 
" If ye be ladye of this hall. 
Some of your good bountith give me." 

13 " What news, what news, palmer?" she said, 

" And from what far countrie came ye?" 
" I'm lately come from Grecian plains. 
Where bes some of the Scots armie." 

14 " If ye be come from Grecian plains. 

Some mair news I will ask of thee,— 
Of one of the chieftains that lies there, 
If he has lately seen his gay ladye." 

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15 '^ It is twelve months, and something mair, 

Since they did part on yonder plain; 
And now this knight has began to fear 
One of his foes he has her ta'en." 

16 "I was not ta'en by force nor slight; 

It was all by my ain free will; 
He may tarry into the fight, 
For here I mean to tarry still. 

17 " And if John Thomson ye do see, 

Tell him I wish him silent sleep; 
But he shall sleep alane for me, 
For where I am I mean to keep." 

18 With that he threw aff his disguise, 

Laid by the mask that he had on; 

Said — ** Hide me now, my ladye fair, 

For Violentrie will soon be hame." 

19 ** For the love I bore thee anco, 

ril strive to hide thee if I can." 
Then she put him down in a dark cellar. 
Where there lay many a new slain-man. 

20 But he hadna in the cellar been, 

Not an hour but barely three. 
When hideous was the noise he heard, 
As in at the gate came Violentrie. 

21 Says—" I wish you well, my ladye fair. 

It's time for us to sit to dine; 
Come, serve me with the good white bread, 
And likewise with the claret wine. 

22 " That Scots chieftain, our mortal fae, 

Sae aft frae field has made us flee, 
Ten thousand zechins this day I'd give 
That I his face cou'd only see." 

23 " Oh. that same gift now give to me — 

I fidrljr hold you at your word — 
That chieftain's face you soon will see ; 
Come ben, John Thomson, to my lord." 

21 Then from the vault John Thomson came. 
Wringing his hands most piteouslie; 
" What wou'd ye do?" the Turk he cried, 
" If ye had me as I ha'e thee?'» 

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25 " If I had you as yo ba'e me, 

I'll tell you what I'd do to thee ; 
I'd hang you up in good greenwood, 
And cause your ain hand wale the tree. 

20 "I meant to stick you with my knife, 
For kissing my beloved ladye." 
" But that same weed yo've shaped for me, 
It quickly shall be sew'd for thee." 

27 Then to the wood they baith are gane; 
John Thomson clamb frae tree to tree; 
And aye he sigh'd and said — " Och hone I 
Here comes the day that I must die." 

23 He tied a ribbon on every branch, 
Put up a flag his men might see; 
But little did his false faes ken 
He meant them any injurie. 

29 lie set his horn unto his mouth, 

And he has blawn baith loud and shrill; 
And then three thousand armed men 
Came tripping all out o'er the hill. 

SO " Give us our chief," they all did cry; 

" It 's by our hand that ye must dee.'* 
'* Here is your chief," the Turk replied, 
With that fell on his bended knee. 

31 " Oh, mercy, mercy, good fellows all, 

Mercy, I pray, you'll grant to me ; " 
" Such mercy as you meant to give, 
Such mercy we shall give to thee." 

32 This Turk they in his castle burnt, 

That stood upon yon hill so hie; 
Jolm Thomson's gay ladye they took, 
And hang'd her on the greenwood tree ! 


"The hero of this tale," writes Jamieson, "seems to be the 
celebrated Welah bard, *Glaskirion,' or *Kirion the Sallow ;' of whom 
some notice will be found in Owen's Camhrmn Biography, 

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" In Chaucer's ' House of Fame/ he is classed with Orpheus, ^Vrion, 
and Chiron :— 

* There herdo I play on a harpo, 
That Bowned both well aud shioLrpo, 
Hym OrpheuB full craftily; 
And on this side fast by 
Sate the harper Orion; 
And Eacldes Ghirlon ; 
And the Briton Glaskyrion.' 

"The Scottish ^^riters, adaptingthenamc to their own meridian, call 
him Glenkindy, Glenskeenie, &c/' 

Douglas, the classic Bishop of Dunkeld, has, in his "Palice of 
Honour," followed the father of English x>oetry in associating '* the 
Briton Glaskyrion " with Orpheus. 

The only Scotish version of the ballad is that printed under the 
above title by Jamieson, in his Popular Ballads, vol. i, p. 92. Ho 
states that it is there "given," as "taken from the recitation of au 
old M'oman, by Professor Scott of Aberdeen, and somewhat improved 
by a fragment communicated by the Rev. William Gray of Lincoln." 

The ballad entitled " Glaseerion," as printed by Percy from his 
Folk) MS.f may be found in the Relimies of Ancient English Pottry, 
voL iii ; and vtrhatlm in the printed copy of the Folio MS,, voL i, 
p. 246. 

To complete the story, stanzas 8, 27, and 28, are here added from 
Percv's copv. Stanzas 9, 14, 29, 31, and 38, are also either altered 
or adapted from one or other, or both, of the versions named. 

It may be suggested, that something closer than a mere similarity 
of name, and of skill in music, may subsist between the classic Chiron 
and the British Glaskyrion. 

1 Glenkindie lie was a harper gudc, 

He harpit to tho king ; 
Glenkindic he was the best harper 
That e'er harpit on string. 

2 Uo'd harpit a fish out of saut water, 

Or water out of a 8 tan e ; 
Or milk out of a maiden's breast, 
That bairn had never nane. 

3 Uo *s ta*en his harp intil his hauJ, 

He harpit and he sang ; 
And aye he harpit to the king, 
To baud him unthought lang. 

4 "I will gi'e you a robe, Glenkindie, 

A robe of the royal pall, 
If ye will harp in the winter's night 
Before me and my nobles all." 

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5 The king but and his nobles all 

Sat birling at the wine ; 
And he wou d ha'e nane but his ae daughter 
To wait on them at dine. 

6 He ^s ta'en his harp intil his hand, 

He's harpit them all asleep, 
Except it was the young princess, 
That love did wauken keep. 

7 And first he has harpit a grave tune, 

And syne he has harpit a gay ; 
And mony a sich* at ween the tunes 
I wot the fair lady ga'e. 

8 ^' Strike on, strike on, Glenkindie," she said. 

" Of tliy striking do not blin ; 
There 's never a stroke comes o'er thy harp, 
But it glads my heart within. 

9 " And come ye to my bow'r," she said, 

" Come when the dav it doth dawn ; 
Come when the cocks ha'e flappit their wings, 
Ha'e flappit their wings and crawn. 

10 " But look ye tell na Gib your man, 

Of naethmg that ye may dee ; 
For," an ye tell him, Gib your man, 
He'll beguile baith you and me." 

11 He 's ta'en his harp intil his hand, 

He harpit and he sang; 
And he is hame to Gib, his man. 
As fast as he cou'd gang. 

12 " Oh, might I tell you, Gib, my man. 

If I a man had slain?" 
" Oh, that you might, my gude master, 
Tho' men ye had slain ten." 

13 " Then take ye tent now, Gib, my man, 

My bidden for to dee. 
And, but an ye waken me in time, 
Te shall be hangit hie. 

li " For I maun haste to yon ladye's bow'r 
On the mom, when day doth dawn, 
As sune as the cocks ha'e flappit their wings, 
Ha'e flappit their wings and crawn," 

• "Slch: " a loBg-^rawn sigh. 

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15 " Then gae to your bed, my gude master, 
YeVe waked, I fear, ower lang; 
But m waken you in as glide time 
As ony cock in the land." 

IG He ^B ta'en the harp in til his hand. 
He harpit and he sang, 
Until he harpit his master asleep, 
Syne fast awa did gang. 

17 And he is till that ladye's bowV, 

As fast as he couM rin; 
And when ho came till that ladye's bowV 
He tirPd at the pin. 

18 " Oh, wha is this," says that ladye, 

" That tirls sae at the pin?" 
" It 's I, Glenkindie, your ain true love, — 
Oh, open and let me in I " 

* 19 She kenn'd he was nae gentle knight. 
That she had lettcn in; 
For neither when he gaed nor came, 
Bjss'd he her cheek nor chin. 

20 He neither kissed her when ho came. 

Nor clapped her when he gaed ; 
And in and out at her bow^r window 
The moon shone like the gleed.* 

21 ^^ Oh, ra^git are your hose, Glenkindie, 

And nven are your sheen,t 

And ravell'd is your yellow hair, 

That I saw lato yestreen." 

22 " The hose and sheen are Gib my manV, 

They came first to my hand; 
And I've ravelPd all my yellow hair. 
Coming against the wind." 

23 He 's ta'en the harp intil his hand. 

He harpit and he sang, 
Until he came to his master's bed, 
As fast as he cou'd gang. 

2rl " Win up, win up, my gude master, 
I fear ye sleep ower Jang; 
There is nae a cock in all the land 
But has flapp'd his wings and crawn." 

• Live embers. t Shoes. Abordosxublre dialect 

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25 Qlenkindic 's ta^en his harp in hand, 
And hastily he ran, 
And he has reach'd the ladye's bow'r, 
Afore that e'er he blan.* 


When he came to the ladj^o's bow'r, 

Ho there tirPd at the pm. 
" Oh, wha is that at my bow'r door, 

That tirls sae to get in?" 
" It *8 I^ Glenkindie, your ain true love, 

And m I canna win." 

27 " Oh, whether have you loft with me 

Your bracelet or your glove? 

Or are you returned back again 

To know more of my love?" 

28 Glenkindie swore a full great oath : 

'^ By oak, and ash, ana thorn, 
Lad3'^e, I was ne'er in your chamber 
Sith the time that I was born." 

29 " Forbid it, forbid it," the ladye said, 

" That it as you say shou'd be; 
For if it be sae, then Gib, your man. 
Hath beguil'd baith you and me. 

30 " Forbid it, forbid it," the ladyo said, 

" That e'er sic shame betide; 
That I shou'd first be a wild loon's lass, 
And then a young knight's bride." 

31 Then she has ta'en a little penknife, 

Hung low down by her gair, 
And she has gi'en herself with it 
A deep wound and a sair. 

32 There was nae pitv for that ladye, 

For she lay caufd and dead; 

But all was for him, Glenkindie— 

In bow'r he there gaed mad. 

BS He 's ta'en his harp intil his hand, 
Sae mournfully it rang. 
And wae and weary it was to hear 
Glenkindie's dowie sang. 

* "Blan;** stopped. 

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34 But cauld and dead was that ladye, 
Nor heeded of his maen ; 
Tho' he wou'd harp on till doomsday, 
She ne'er will speak again. 

85 Ho *8 ta'en his harp intil his hand, 
He harpit and he sang; 
And he is harao to Gib, his man, 
As fast as he couM gang. 

36 ** Come forth, come forth now, Gib, my man, 

Till I pay you your fee; 
Come forth, come forth now, Gib, my man. 
For weel paid ye shall be." 

37 And he has ta'on him, Gib, his man. 

And he has hangM him hie, 
And he 's hang'd him o'er his ain yett. 
As high as Iiigh con'd bo. 

38 Next set the pummil of his sword 

Against an earth-fast stone; 
Then threw himself upon the point, 
And died without a groan. 


" Throe ballads," B&ya Mr. Jamieson, '' all of them of considerable 
merit, on the same subject, are to be found in vol. iii. of the jRdiques 
of Ancient English Poetry, under the titles of ' Lord Thomas and f'air 
Elinor/ ' Fair Margaret and Sweet William/ and ' Lord Thomas and 
Fair Annet ; ' the latter of which is in that work given with some correc- 
tions, ' from a MS. copy transmitted from ScotluLd,' and supposed to be 
composed, not without improvements, out of the two former ancient 
English ones. At this distance of time, it would be in vain to 
attempt to ascertain which was the original and which the imitation ; 
and, I think it extremely probable that, in their origin, they were 
])crfectly independent of each other, and both derived from some one 
of those fableaux, romances, or tales, which, about four or five hun- 
dred years aeo, were so familiarly known, in various forms, over a 
great part of Europe, that it would even then have been difficult to 
-say to what country or language they owed their birth. The text 
of 'Lord Thomas and Fair A^et* seems to have been adjusted, 
previous to its leaving Scotland, by some one who was more of a 
scholar than the reciters of ballads generally are; and, in attempting 
to give it an antique cast, it has been deprived of somewhat ot that 
easy £BU)ility whicn is the distinguished characteristic of the tradition- 
ary ballad narrative. With the text of the ditty,*' printed in Popidar 
B^XUtda and Songs, voL i., p. 22, under the above title, **no such 


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experiment has beea mada It is," says Mr. Jamieflon, '' giyen pnre 
and entire^ as it was taken down by the editor, from the recitation 
of a lad^ in Aberbrothick (Mra W. Arret), to whose politeness and 
ftiendship this [his] collection is under considerable obhgations. She 
had no previous intimation of the compiler's visit, or of his under- 
taking ; and the few hours he spent at her Mendly fireside were very 
busily employed in writing. As she had, when a child, learnt the 
ballad from an elderly maB-servant, and probably had not repeated 
it for a dozen of years before I had the good fortune to be introduced 
to her ; it may be depended upon, that ever^ line was recited to me 
as nearly as possible m the exact form in wluch she learnt if 

There is a similar Swedish ballad, ** Herr Peder och Liten Kerstin,'' 
in the Svensha FoUt- Visor, i, 49; a translation of which mav be 
found in Literature and Bomance of Northern Europe, by William 
and Mary Hewitt, vol. i., p. 258. 

1 Sweet Willie and fair Annie 

Sat all day on a hill ; 
When night was come and sun was set,* 
They had not talk'd their fill. 

2 Sweet Willie said a word in haste, 

And Annie took it ill : 
" I winna wed a tocherless maid, 
Against my parent's will." 

3 Oh, Annie, she 'a gane till her bow V, 

And WUlie hied him down ; 
He hied him till his mither's bowV, 
By the lee light of the moon. 

4 " Oh, sleep ye, wake ye, mither ?" he says, 

" Or are ye the bow'r within ? " 
" I sleep richt aft, I wake richt aft ; f 
Wliat want ye with me, son ? 

5 " Where ha'e ye been all night, Willie? 

Oh, wow I yeVe tarried lang 1" 
" I have been courtin' fair Annie, 
And she is frae me gane. 

6 " There are twa maidens in a bow'r ; 

Which of them shall I bring hame? 
The nut-brown maid has sheep and kye, 
And fair Annie has nane." 

• "And though thoy had sitten seyen years, 

They neer wad had their fllL"— Jamieson's yersIoB. 
t "That is, my slambers ar« short, broken, and interrapted; a characteristic of 
age,"— J. 

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7 " It 'b an ye wed the nut-brown maid, 

I'll heap gold with my hand ; 
But an ye wed her, fair Annie, 
I'll fltraik it with a wand. 

8 " The nut-brown maid has sheep and kye, 

And fair Annie has nane ; 
And the little beauty Annie has, 

Oh, it will sune be gane ; 
Then, Willie, for my Jbenison, 

The nut-brown maid bring hame." 

9 " But, alas, alas I" says sweet Willie, 

" Oh, fair is Annie's face ! " 
" But what 's the matter, my son, Willie, 
She has nae ither grace." 

10 " Alas, alas I" says sweet Willie, 

" But white is Annie's hand I" 
" But what 's the matter, my son, Willie, 
She has neither gold nor land." 

11 ^' But sheep will die in their cots, mither, 

And owsen die in byre ; 
And what is this warld's wealth to me, 
An I getna my heart's desire?" 

12 And he has till his brother gane : 

" Now. brother, rede ye me — 
It 's shall I marry the nut-brown bride, 
And let fair Annie be? " 

13 " The nut-brown bride has sheep, brother, 

The nut-brown bride has kye; 
I wou'd ha'e ye marry the nut-brown bride. 
And cast fair Annie by." 

14 " Her sheep may die in their cots, Billie, 

And her Kye m the byre; 
And I shall ha'e nothing to myseP, 
But a fat fadge by the fire." 

15 And he has till his sister gane : 

" Now, sister, rede ye me — 
Oh, shall I marry the nut-brown bride, 
And set fair Annie free ? " 

16 " I'se rede ye take fair Annie, Willie, 

And let the brown bride alane; 
Lest you shou'd sigh and say — *AlaceI 
What is this I've brought hame ? ' " 

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17 " No, I will take my mother's counsel, 

And marry me out of hand; 
And I will take the nut-brown bride, 
And let fair Annie stand. 

18 " Oh, I shall wed the nut-brown maid, 

And I shall bring her hame ; 
But peace nor rest I ne'er shall ha'e, 
Till death part us again. 

19 " Where will I get a bonnie boy, 

Wou'd fain win hose and shoon, 
That will rin to fair Annie's bow'r, 
Wil^ the lee light of the moon ? 

20 " Ye'U tell her to come to Willie's wcddiii' 

The mom, by twelve at noon; 
Ye'U tell her to come to Willie's weddin', 
The heir of Duplin town.* 

21 ^' She maunna put on the black, the black, 

Nor yet the dowie brown ; 
But the scarlet red, and the kerches white, 
And her fair locks hangin' down." 

22 The bonnie boy ran to Annie's bow'r. 

And tirl'd at the pin, 
And tauld his message to liersel', 
As she open'd to let him in. 

23 " Oh, I will gang to Willie's weddin' 

The morn, by twelve at noon; 
Oh, I will gang to Willie's weddin', 
But I'll die ere day be dune. 

21 " My maids, come to mv drcssin' room, 
And dress to me my hair ; 
Where'er ye laid a plait before, 
See ye lay ten times mair. 

25 " My maids, come to my dressin' room, 
And dress to me my smock ; 
The one-half is of the Holland fine, 
The other of needle-work. 

* " Duplin toim.— Duplin 1b the seat of the Earl of Efnnonl, from which he derlres 
his title of Yisconnt It Is in the neighbourhood of Perth. This copy of the bftUad was 
taken from the current traditionAry manner of reciting it in that part of the country; 
and it Is obeervabie that ballads are very frequently adapted to the meridian of the 
place where they are found; so that the same parts and characters are given to 
persons of different zumss and ranlcs in life, i|i different parta of the country." 
— Jamicson. 

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26 " My maids, come to my drossin' room, 

And busk me in silken sheen ; 
And let us gae to St. Mary's kirk, 
To see that rich weddiu\ 

27 " My maids, come to my dressin* room, 

And busk me fair and fine ; 
But ere the day comes to an end, 
The death-mass will be mine." 

28 The horse fair Annie rade upon. 

He amblit like the wind ; 
With siller he was shod before, 
With burning gowd behind. 

29 Four-and- twenty siller bells 

Were all tied till his mane ; 
And at ilka tift of the norland wind, 
They tinkled ane by ane. 

30 Four-and-twenty gay gude knights 

Kade by fair Annie^s side, 
And four-and-twenty fair ladies, 
As if she were a bride. 

31 And when she came to Mary's kirk. 

She sat on Mary's stane; 
The cleading that fair Annie had on, 
It skinkled in their een. 

82 And when she came into the kirk, 
She shinmier'd like the sun ; 
The belt that was about her waist 
Was with pearls all bedono. 

33 She sat her by the nut-brown bride, 

And her een they were sae clear ; 
Sweet Willie clean forgot the bride, 
When fair Annie drew near. 

34 He had a rose into his hand, 

And he ^ave it kisses three. 
And, reaching by the nut-brown bride, 
Laid it on Annie's knee.* 

* The throe following highly poetical etanzaa oocnr at thia rla<cc in JamIeaon*a 
Tersion :— 

" Willlo '8 ta'cn a rose oat of his hat, 
Laid it in Annie's lap; 
* The bonnioBt to the bonniest fa*8; 
Ha*e, wear it for my sake.* 
•• • Take np and wear your rose, Willie, 
As lang as it will last; 
For, like yoar loTO, its sweetness all 
WiU soon iM gane and past. 

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85 Up then spake the nut-brown bride, 
She spake with meikle spite; 
" And where got ye that rose-water, 
Makes ye sae fair jtnd white?" 

SG " Oh, I did get that rose-water 

Where ye*ll ne*er get the same; 
For I did get that rose-water 
Ere to the light I came. 

87 " But yeVe been wash'd in dunnie well, 

And dried on dunnie dyke j 
And all the water in the sea 
Cou*d never wash ye white." 

88 The bride she drew a long bodkin 

Frae out her gay head-gear, 
And strake fair Annie to the heart, 
That word she ne'er spake mair. 

39 Sweet William he saw fair Annie wax pale, 

And marvell'd what mote be; 
But when he saw her dear heart's bluid, 
It 's wud-wroth then wax'd he. 

40 He drew his dagger was sae sharp, 

That was sae sharp and meet, 
And drave it into the nut-brown bride, 
Who fell dead at his feet. 

41 " Now stay for me, dear Annie," he said, 

" Now stay, my dear," he cried ; 
Then strake the dagger intil his heart. 
And fell dead by her side. 

42 Sweet Willie was buried without the kirk wall, 

Fair Annie within the quire ; 
And of the ane there grew a birk, 
The other a bonnie brier. 

43 And aye they grew, and aye they threw. 

As they wou'd fain be near ; 
And by this ye may ken right weel, 
They were twa lovers dear. 

" • Wear ye tiie roae of lo▼^ Wfllio, 
And I the thorn of care ; 
For the woman shall never bear a eon 
That wiU make my heart sae eair.' " 
The third line of fhe flnit of these etanzas waB "an interpolation** of Jamlfl80n*ft 
own ; and the other two Btanxae were mannfaotared oat or the following, as takeii 
down tfj him firom Mrs. Arrot's recitation :— 

» Take up and wear your roM| WUlift, 
And wear't with mlckle care; 
For the woman aall never bear a son, 
That will mokQ my hean MO lAirr 

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The following stanzas form the conclasion of the preceding ballad, 
according to Mr. Jamieson^s version. 

They strongly resemble the latter portion of " Fair Margaret and 
Sweet Willie,'* as the termination of tiie preceding does that of 
' ' Lord Thomas and Fair Elinor.*' See preceding introduction. 

1 When night was come and day was gane, 

And all men boun to bed, 
Sweet Willie and his nut-brown brido, 
In their chamber were laid. 

2 But they had scarcely lain down, 

And werena fa'n asleep, 
Wiien up and stands she, fair Annie, 
Just up at Willie's feet. 

3 " Weel brook ye of your nut-brown bride, 

Between ye and the wall j 
And sae will I of my winding-sheet, 
That suits me best of all. 

4 " Weel brook ye of your nut-brown bride. 

Between ye and the stock ; . 
And sae will I of my black, black kist,* 
That has neither key nor lock. 

6 " Weel brook ye of your nut-brown bride, 
And of your bridal bed; 
And sae will I of the cauld, cauld mools, 
That Bune will hap my head." 

6 Sad Willie raise, put on his claise, 

Drew till him his hose and shoon ; 
And he is on to Annie's bowV, 
By the lee light of the moon. 

7 The firsten bow'r that he came till, 

There was right dowie wark; 

Her mother and her three sisters 

Were makin* to Annie a sark. 

8 The nexten bow'r that he came till, 

There was right dowie cheer ; 

Her father and ner seven brethren 

Were makin' to Annie a bier. 

^"BbtOckiBts'^tbe coffin. 

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9 The lasten bow'r that he came till, 
Oh, heavy was his care I 
The dead candles were burning bright, 
And fair Annie streekit * there. 

10 " It 's I will kiss year bonnie cheek, 

And I will kiss your chin. 
And I will kiss your clay-cauld Up; 
But ril ne'er kiss woman again. 

11 " And that I was in love outdone 

Shall ne'er be said of me ; 
For as yeVe died for me, Annie, 
Sae will I do for thee. 

12 " This day ye biri at Annie's wake 

The wlute bread and the wine ; 

Before the morn, at twelve o'clock, 

They'll birl the same at mine." 

13 The ane was buried in Mary's kirk, 

The other in Mary's quire; 
And out of the ane there grew a birk. 
And out of the other a brier. 

14 And aye they grew, and aye they drew, 

As they woi3d fain be near; 
And every ane that passed them by, 
Said—" Thae 's been lovers dear! " 


From Bnchan's AneUnt Ballads and Songs, vol. i., p. 43; and note, 
p. 294. See ante, p. 13. Mr. Buchan says :— "This ballad bears all 
the characteristica of antiquity. It seems rather of a romantic kind, 
although in many places aUegoricaL" 

1 Clerk Tammas loved her, fair Annie, 

As well as Mary loved her son: 
But now he hates her, fair Annie, 
And hates the land that she lives on. 

2 " Ohon, alas ! '* said fair Annie, 

"Alas! this day I fear I'll dee; 
But I will on to sweet Tammas, 
And see if he will pity me." 

"Streekit: " stretched, or im Qvi, 

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As Tammas lay o'er his shott-window, 
Just as the sun was ^aein' dowu, 

There he beheld her, fair Anniei 
As she came walking to the town. 

" Oh, where are all my well-wight men, 
I wot that I pay meat and fee. 

For to let all my hounds gang loose, 
To hunt this vile wench to the sea?" 

The hounds they knew the ladye well, 
And nane of them they wou'd her bite. 

Save ane that was named Gaudy- where; 
I wot he did the ladye smite. 

" Oh, wae mot worth ye, Gaudy- where, 

An ill reward this is to me; 
For ae bit that I 

[ ga'e the lave, 
I've gi'en you t 

I'm very sure I've gi'en you three. 

7 " For me, alas ! there 's nae remeid. 

Here comes the day that I maun dee; 
I ken ye love your master well, 
And sae did I, alas for me I" 

8 A captain lay o'er his ship window. 

Just as the sun was gaein' down ; 
There he beheld her, fair Annie, 
As she was hunted frae the town. 

9 " If ye'll forsake father and mother. 

If ye'll forsake youp friends and kin ; 
If ye'U forsake your lands sae broad. 
Then come, and I will take you in." 

10 ** Yes, I'll forsake father and mother. 

And sae will I my friends and kin ; 
Yes, I'll forsake my lands sae broad, 
And come, if ye will take me in." 

11 Then a' thing gaed frae fause Tammas, 

And there was naething bade him wi' ; 
Then he thought lang for Annandale, — 
It was fair Annie for to sec. 

12 " How do ye now, ye sweet Tammas? 

And how gaes all in your countrie?" 
" I'll do better to you than ever I've done, 
Fair Annie, if ye'll com© and see," 

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13 " Oh, Gude forbid," said fair Annie, 

" That e'er the like fall in my hand; 
Wou'd I forsake my ain gude lord, 
And follow yoa a gae-through-land? 

14 " Yet, nevertheless now, sweet Tammas, 

Ye'll drink a cup of wine with me; 
And nine times, in the live-lang day. 
Your fair claithing shall changed be.** 

15 Fair Annie put it till her cheek, 

Sae did she till her milk-white chin ; 
Sae did she till her flatterin' lips. 
But never a drap of wine gaed in. 

16 Tammas put it till his cheek, 

Sae did he till his dimpled chin ; 
He put it till his rosy lips, 
And then the well of wine gaed in. 

17 " These pains,'* said he, " are ill to bide ; 

Here is the day that I maun die : 
Oh, take this cup frae me, Annie, 
For of the same I am weary." 

18 " And sae was I of you, Tammas, 

When I was hunted to the sea ; 
But I'se gar bury vou in state. 
Which is mair tnan ye'd done to me." 


"A fragment of this gloomjr and impressive romance was published 
in Herd's ScotUsh Songs, vol. i, p. 148." (See next page.) 

Five versions, more or less complete, appeared subsequently. They 

L "Lord William," in Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iiL, p. 23. This 
version was commimicated by the Ettrick Shepherd, 
accompanied by a note, in which he states that he can 
"trace it back several generations, bat cannot hear of 
its ever being in print" 
XL "Earl Eichard," same wotk and volume, p. 184. Collated 
from "two ballads in Mr. Herd's MSS. upon the follow- 
ing story, in one of which tiie unfortunate knight is 
termed * Young Huntin.* " 

IIL "Earl Richard," in Motherwell's MmetreUy, p. 2ia "Given 
from recttation," 

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IV. "Young Bedin," in Kinlocli'8 Ancient ScoUiah Ballads, p. 1. 
"Ifecovered," say a Mr. Kinloch, "from the recitation of 
Miss E. Beattie, of Edinburgh, a native of Meamshire, 
who sings it to a plaintive, though somewhat monotonous, 
air of one measure." 

V. "Young Huntin," in Buchan's Ancient Ballads, &c., voL i., 
p. 118. "Though last on the stage of public criticism," 
sa^s Mr. Buchan, " is not the least in poetical merit ; — 
it is superior to all those which have preceded it, and 
now for the first time printed in a complete and per- 
fect state, with beauties that are not to be found in any 
of the other fragments." — Note, p. 303. 

"In the Oentleman^s Magazine, 1794, voL Ixiv., part i., p. 553, there 
is a modem ballad of extremely perverted orthography and vicious 
sWle (meant for ancient), in which the twenW [twenty-eight?! lines of 
H!erd's fragment are interwoven with an altogether different story. 
It is printed, as authentic, in Scarce Ancient Ballads, Aberdeen, 
1822."— Professor Child, English and Scottish Ballads, vol. iii., p. 3. 

The opening stanzas of " Sir Boland,'' ante, p. 171, are similar in 
incident ; but, with the exception of the first stanza of it, and the 
fourth of the following, the ballads differ entirely in phraseology and 
treatment ; while the retributive catastrophes of the latter portion 
differ in toto. 

The ballad which follows has been compiled from the versions 
named above, and numbered I. to V. 

On account of the number of versions, their numerous minor 
differences, and the inconsistencies which more or less pervade them 
all, and particularly the *' Earl Bichard '' of Sir Walter Scott, it has 
been thought not only necessary, but proper, to exercise some degree 
of Hcence in the work of collation; wnile, for the sake of uniformity 
and consistency of style, the language and orthography of the various, 
versions have been here modernized. 

The notes are from the pen of Sir Walter Scott : the narratives of 
cases cited by him in the last note are, however, omitted, while the 
references are retained. 

The following is the fragment which originally appeared in Herd's 
Scottish Songs :— 

" She hftB call'd to her bow'r-maldenB, 
She has call'd them one by one ; 
* There is a dead man in mv bowT, 
I Yrlah that he was gone.'^ 

" They have booted him, and spnrr'd hUn, 
Ab he was wont to ride : 
A hunting-horn around his waisti 
A sharp sword by his sida 

,** Then up and spake a bonnie bird, 
That sat upon the tree,— 
•"What ha'e ye done with Earl Bichard, 
Ye was hlB gay ladye?' 

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" • Gome down, come down, my bonnie bird. 
Come, sit upon my hand: 
Andye ahall na'e a cage of the gowd, 
Where ye ha*e but the wand.^ 

•* * Awa, awa, ye in woman, 
Nae ill woman for me; 
What ye ha'e done to Earl Riohard, 
Sae wad ye do to me.' 

«• • Oh, there 'n a bird within your bow>, 
That Bings sae sad and sweet; 
Oh. there *b a bird Intil your bow'r, 
Kept me frae my night's sloep/ 

" And she sware by the grass eao green, 
Sae did she by the com. 
That she had not s' en £arl Richard 
Syne yesterday at mom." 

1 Lord William was the bravest knight 

That dwelt in fair Scotland.; 
And though renowned in foreign lands, 
Fell by a ladye's hand. 

2 And he has forth a-hunting gone, 

As fast as he con'd ride, 
With hunting-horn hung round, his neck, 
And a small sword by his side. 

3 Ladye Maisry forth from lier bowV came, 

Then on her tow'r-head stood; 
And thought she heard a bridle ring, 
Down by the shady wood. 

4 Lord William then came riding up. 

And tirPd at the pin ; 
Ladye Maisry hasted from the towV, 
To open and let him in. 

5 " Good morrow, good morrow, Ladye Maisry, 

God make you safe and free; 
I'm come to take my last farewell. 
My last farewell of thee." 

6 " Then light, oh light. Lord William," she said, 

" And stay with me this night; 
You shall have cheer with charcoal red,* 
And candles burning bright." 

• " • Charcoal red/ This circumstance marks the antiquity of the poem. While 
wood waspleni^ In ScoOand, charcoal was the usual fuel la the chambers of thQ 

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7 ** I cannot light, I will not light: 

The truth I will thee tell; 
A fairer ladye than ten of thee 
Meets me at Brannan's well. 

8 "Oh, the very sole of that ladye^s foot, 

Than thy face is far more whit.e; 
And I am sworn at Brannan's well 
To meet with her this night." 

9 " Then if your love be changed,'* she said, 

" And better may not be, 
At least ye will, for auld lang syne, 
Come taste the wine with me." 

10 "I will not stay, I cannot stay, 

To drink the wine with thee: 
A ladye I love better far, 
Is waiting now for me." 

11 He leant him o'er his saddle-bow. 

To kiss ere they did part; 
And with a bodkm shai*p and keen, 
She pierced him to the heart. 

12 " Ride on, ride on, Lord William, now. 

As fast as you can ride; 
Your now love at St. Brannan's well 
Will wonder why ye bide." 

13 It 's out then spake a popinjay, 

Sat high upon a tree : 
" How cou'd you kill that noble lord? 
Ue came to marry thee." 

14 Up then spake the popinjay. 

As it flew o'er her head : 
" Ladye, keep well your green clothing 
Free from the blood so red." 

15 " Oh, I will keep my green clothing 

Free from the blooa so red, 
Better than thou canst keep thy tongue, 
That prattles in thy head. 

10 " But come thou down, thou bonnio bird, 
Nor hop from tree to tree; 
I'll give to thee a cage of gold, 
And with white bread feed thee," 

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17 " Keep your good cage of gold, ladya, 

Ana I will keep my tree ; 
As ye have done to Lord William, 
So wou'd ye do to me." 

18 " Oh, long, long is the winter night. 

And slowly dawns the day; 
A slain knignt lyes close by my bowV, 
And I wish he were away." 

19 Up then spake her bow'r-maiden, 

And she spake out with spite: 
" If there be a slain knight near your bow'r. 
It *s yourself that has the wyte." * 

20 " Oh, heal f this deed on me, Katherine, 

Oh, heal this deed on me, 
And the silks were shapen for my wear, 
They shall be sew'd for thee." 

21 The one has ta'en him by the feet. 

The other by the head, 
And the deepest pot ^ of Clyde^s water 
They made his burial bed. 

22 It *8 up then spake the popinjay, 

As it sat on a tree : 
" Go home, go home, thou false ladye, 
And pay your maid her fee." 

23 Now it did chance that very day 

The King was bound to ride; 
And he has sent for Lord William, 
To ride forth by his side. 

24 Many a lord and many a knight 

Sought for him all around ; 
They sought him up, they sought him down, 
But he couM not be found. 

25 Then they calPd the Ladye Maisry, 

And she swore by the thorn : 
" I have not seen good Lord William 
Since early yestermorn. 

• " Wyte : '* blame. t " Heal: " conceal. 

t The deep holes Boooped In fhe rook by the eddies of a riyer are called pots, 
the motion of Uie water having there some resemblaooe to a boiling calaroo. 
Linn means the pool beneath a cataracL 

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2(} " He rode by way of Clyde water; 
And much it feareth me, 
That if he tried to ride the stream, 
He therein drown'd muat be." 

27 " Go dive, go dive," the King loud cried, 

" Go dive for gold and fee ; 
Who dives there, for Lord William's sake, 
Shall well rewarded be." 

28 Thev sought Clyde water up and down, 

They sought it in and out; 
But Lord William or Lord William's corpse 
They found nowhere about. 

29 Then up it spake the popinjay. 

As it flew overhead: 
" Dive on, dive on, je divers all. 
For there he lyes indeed. 

30 " But leave oflf diving by the day. 

Leave off till it be night; 
Then, where that saikless * knight lyes slain, 
The candles will bum bright." f 

31 They left off diving by the day, 

And waited till the night; 
Then, where that saikless knight lay slain, 
The candles burned bright. 

32 In the deepest pot of Clyde water 

Lord William's corpse was found; 
With boots, spurs, sword, and hunting-horn. 
As he to hunt went bound. 

33 Then up and spake the King himself. 

When he saw the deadly wound: 
" Oh! who has slain my right-hand man. 
That held my hawk and hound ? " 

• "SalldesB:" gulltieas. 

t These are imqneBtionably the corpee-lighte, called in Wales **Cuihwyllaii C/rph,** 
which are sometimes seen to illuminate the spot where a dead body is concealed. 
The editor is informed that, some years ago, the corpse of a man drowned in 
the Ettrick, below Selkirk, was discovered by means of these candles. Such 
lights are common In chorohyards, and are probably of a phosphoric natore. 
Bat rastic superstition derives them from supematnral agency, and supposes that, 
as soon as lire has departed, a pale flame appears at we window of the house 

be of Bonio extraction. 

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31 Then up and spake the popinjay; 

Says — " What needs all this din? 
It was his leman took his life, 
And threw him in the linn." 

85 Yet still she swore by grass so green, 

By com and by thorn, 
That she Lord William had not seen 
Since yesterday at mom. 

86 " It must have been mv bow*r- woman ; 

Oh, ill may her betide! 
For I ne'er wou'd slain Lord William, 
And thrown him in the Clyde." 

87 The King he called upon his men, 

To hew down wood and thorn; 
And there to build a strong baile-fire. 
The bowV-maiden to bum. 

88 Then they built up a strong baile-fire, 

To burn that maiden in; 
But it would not light upon her cheek, 
Nor yet upon her chin; 

o9 Nor yet upon her yellow hair, 
To cleanse the aeadly sin; 
But it took upon the cruel hands 
That help'd to throw him in. 

40 The maiden touched the clay-cold corpse, 

A drop it never bled ; 
But when the ladye touch'd the corpse. 
The blood came gushing red. 

41 Then they've ta'en out the bow'r-woman, 

And they've put the ladye in : 
The flame took fast upon her cheek, 
And fast upon her chin ; 

42 And faster on the cruel hand, 

That wrought the deadly sin ; 
Until the ladye's fair body 
Was burn'd like holyn green.* 

• ** Holrn green: ** green holly. The lines immediately preceding, "The maiden 
louched,*^ &c^ and which are restored from tradition, refer to a supenBtltion 
formerly receiTed in most parts of Enrope, and eyen resorted to by judicial 
•uthori^, for the dlscoTery of murder. In Germany, this experiment was callfd 
Bahr-recht, or the law of the bier; becanse, the murdered body being stretched 
upon ft bier, the suspected persoo was obliged to pat one hand npon the woondi 

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"A fragment of this fine old ballad'* was publLmed by Herd, 
nnder the title of "The Cruel Knight/* in his ScottisJi Songs, vol. 
i., p. 165; but ** for the first complete copy the public is indebted to 
Mr. Finlay, of Glasgow, in whose collection {of ScoUish Historical and 
Romantic BaUads, vol. ii., p. 72) it appeared." Mr. Finla/s version 
was, as he informs us, " completed from two recited copies.'' It was 
followed by a similar, but stiU more complete version, also "obtained 
from recitation;" which, with "a few verbal emendations" from 
"Mr, Finlay's copy," was given in his Minstrelsy, p. 193, by Mr. 
Motherwell, accompanied wiQi the following explanatory statement : — 

'I The reciters of old ballads fre<]uently supply the best commen- 
taries upon them, when any obscurity or want of connection appears 
in the poetical narrative. This ballad, as it stands, throws no light 
on young Johnstone's motive for stebbins his lady ; but the person 
from whose lips it was taken down alleged that the barbarous act was 
committed unwittingly, through young Johnstone's suddenly waking 
from his sleep, and, m that moment of confusion and alarm, unhappily 
mistaking his mistress for one of his pursuers. It is not improbable 
but the rallad may have had at one time a stanza to the above effect, 
the substance of which is still remembered, thoueh the words in 
which it was couched have been forgotten. At all events, it is a 
more likely inference than that whicn Mr. Gilchrist has chosen to 
draw from the premises. See A CoUection of Ancient and Modem 
Scottish Ballads, Tales, and Songs, with Explanatory Notes and 
Observations, by John Gilchrist, vol. i., p. 185, £din., 1815." 

The hiatus here referred to by Mr. Motherwell was shortly after 
filled by the appearance of another version of the ballad, under the 
title of "Lora John's Murder," in Mr. Buchan's Ancient Ballads, 
vol. ii, p. 20, which version contains a stanza answering to the prose 
rider of Mr. Motherweirs reciter. It occurs in the tex^ in a slightly 
amended form, as stanza 26. 

Motherwell's version is the one generally followed in the text here 
^ven; but stanza 21 has been substituted from "The Cruel Ejiisht," 
m place of the corresponding stanza in Motherwell. Stanzas 1% 20, 
and the first two lines of 16, are also added from the same source. 
The last two lines of stanzas 22 and 25 have been substituted for those 

and the other upon the month of the deceased, and, in that posture, call upon 
Heaven to attest nis Innocence. If, dorino; this ceremony, the blood enshed from 
the month, nose, or wonnd— a droumstance not unl&ely to happen in me course of 
shifting or stirring the body— it wiis held sufficient evidence or the guilt of the party. 
The same singular kind of evidence, although reprobated by Malthaeus and 
Carpzorins, was admitted in the Scottish criminal courts, at the short distance of 
one century. 

Srrhe coses narrated by Scott are those of Mulr, laird of Auchindrane, in Ayn«hiro 
611), from Wodrow's Ilistorv, voL L, p. 513; and Hume's Criminal Lmoi, vol. 1^ p. 
!8: of Philip Btandfleld (80th Nov., 1687), from Fountainhall's Decisions, voL i., p. 
48S: and another at the classic stream of Yarrow, aa communicated to him by '* an 
Ingenious conespondentb'* 

An instance of the prevalence of this belief, in comparatively recent times, is cited 
t^ Einloch (pL 13), from Telfair's l^ue Relation or an Apparition, Ac., 1695; and one 
still more recent, as *- practised at Aberdeen," within the recollection of Mr. Einloch, 
namely, some time ab^ut the beginning of the present century.] 


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gabjoined in the notes ; the first two lines of stanza 23 added, with the 
view of completing the sense; and a few verbal chuiges made, it is 
hoped, not oidy without violence, but rather with improvement, to 
the text 

1 YouNa Johnstone and the young Cornel 

Sat drinking at the wine : 
"Oh, if ye wou'd marry my sister, 
It 's I wou'd marry thine." 

2 "I wou'dna marry your sister 

For all your houses and land; 

But I'll keep her for my leman. 

When I come o'er the strana. 

3 "I wou'dna marry your sister 

For all your gowd and fee; 

But I'll keep her for my leman, 

When I come o'er the sea.'* 

4 Young Johnstone had a nut-brown sword, 

Hung low down by his gair, 
And he ritted* it through the young Col'ne], 
That word he ne'er spake mair. 

5 But he 's awa to his sister's bow'r, 

He's tirl'd at the pin; 
" Where ha'e ye been, my dear brother, 
Sae late a-coming in? 

6 " I've dreamed a dream this night," she says, 

" I wish it may be for good; 
They were seeking you with hawks and houndsi 
Ajid the young Gol'nel was dead." 

7 " With hawks and hounds they may seek me, 

As I trow well they be ; 
For I ha'e kill'd the young Col'nel, 
And thy true love was ne." 

8 " If ye ha'e kill'd the young Col'nel, 

Oh, dule and wae is me I 
But may ye hang on a high gallows, 
And na e nae power to flee." 

*u«sitted:*fhnutTiolentl7. In 5/r7V*if<r«in it is luod simply to oat [FidtFytte 


I, Stanza zliy.}— Finlay. In the oopy obtained by the editor, the word *rltted 
did not oocur; instead of which the word * stabbed' was naed. The *m 
■word' WM also changed into *a little small sword.' "—Motherwell 

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9 Then he 's awa to hia true love's bowV, 
He 's tirVd at the pin : 
" Where ha'e ye been, my dear Johnstone, 
Sae late a-coming in? 

10 "I ha'e dream'd a dreary dream," she says, 

" I wish it may be for good ; 
They were seeking you with hawks and hounds, 
And the young CoPnel was dead." 

11 " With hawks and hounds they may seek me, 

As I trow well they be; 
For I ha'e kill'd the young Col'nel, 
And thy ae brother was he." 

12 ** If ye ha'e kill'd the young Col'nel, 

Oh, dule and wae is me I 
But I care the less for the young Col'nel, 
If thy ain body bo free.* 

13 " Come in, come in, my dear Johnstone, 

Come in and take a sleep ; 
And I will go to my casement, 
And careful watch I'll keep." 

14 She 'b ta'en him to her secret bow'r, 

Pinn'd with a siller pin ; 
And she 's up to her highest tow'r, 
To watch that none como in. 

15 He hadna weel got up the stair, 

And enter'd in her bow'r, 
When four-and-twenty belted knights 
Came riding to the door. 

IG " Now God you save, my fair ladyo, 

I pray you tell to me. 
Oh, did you see a bloody squire, 

A bloody squire was he ; 
Oh, did you see a bloody squire 

Come riding o'er the lea?" 

17 " What colour were his hawks?" she says, 
" What colour were his hounds ? 
What colour was the gallant steed 
That bore him from the bounds?" 

• •• Bat If I aave yonr fair body, 

Tbe tetter you'll like me."— Tbe Qniel Enlglii 

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18 " Bloody, bloody were his hawks, 

And bloody were his hounds ; 
And milk-white was the gallant steed 
That bore him from the bounds." 

19 " Yes, bloody, bloody were his hawks, 

And bloody were his hounds ; 
And milk-white was the gallant steed 
That bore him from the bounds. 

20 " Yes, bloody, bloody was his sword. 

And bloody were his hands ; 
But if the steed he rides be good, 
He 's past fair Scotland's strands.* 

21 " Light down, light down, then, gentlemen, 

And take some bread and wine; 
The better you will him pursue, 
When you shall lightly dine." 

22 " We thank you for your bread, ladyo, 

We thank you for your wine ; 
But till that bloody knight is ta'en, 
We cannot think to dine."t 

23 Then up unto her secret bow'r 

She noiselessly did creep, — 
" Lye still, lye still, my dear Johnstone, 

Lye still and take a sleep; 
For thy enemies are past and gone. 

And careful watch I keep.'* J 

24 But young Johnstone had a sharp wee sword, 

Hung low down by his gair, 
And he stabb'd it in fair Annet's breast, 
A deep wound and a sair. 

25 " What aileth thee now, my dear Johnstone? 

What aileth thee at me? 
That for the service I ha'e done 
Ye pay me such a fee? " § 

• ■* Ho *s past the bridge of Tyne."— Flnlay. > Both oocar in connection with tho 

" He 's past the brig o' Lyna**— MotherwelL { first two lines of stanza 2L 
f " Bat I wad gi*e thrice three thousand pound 

That bloody knight was ta'en."— Motherwell 
t One version ends here. The concluding stanzas seem to have been added by 
SDoUier hand. 
S **Hast thou not got my father's gold, 

Bot an4 mj mother's fee? **'Both Finlay and MotherwelU 

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26 " Alas I alas ! my fair ladye, 

To come so bastille : 
I took you for my deadly foe, 
Had come to capture me, 

27 " Now live, now live, my dear ladye, 

Now live but balf an hour, 
And tbe skilliest leecb in all Scotland 
Sball be brought to thy bowV/' 

28 " How can I live, how shall I live? 

My love, do not you see 
The red, red drops of my heart's blood 
Run trickling down my knee? 

29 " But take thy harp into thy hand, 

And harp out o*er yon plain ; 
And think nae mair on thy true love, 
Than if she ne'er had been." 

80 Ho was scarce frae the stable gone, 
And on his saddle set, 
Till four-and-twenty broad arrows 
Were thrilling in his heart. 


"In this balkd," writes Sir Walter Scott, "the reader will find 
traces of a Bingnlor superstition, not vet altogether discredited in 
tbe wilder parts of Scotland. The lykewake, or watching a dead 
body, in itself a melancholy office, is rendered, in the idea of the 
assistants, more dismally awful, by the mysterious horrors of super- 
stition. In the interval betwixt death and interment, the dis- 
embodied spirit is supposed to hover around its mortal habitation, 
and, if invoked by certain rites, retains the power of communicating, 
through its oreans, the cause of its dissolution. Such inquiries, 
however, are always daneerous, and never to be resorted to, unless 
the deceieised is suspected to have suffered foul play, as it is called. 
It is the more unsafe to tamper with this charm in an unauthorizel 
manner, because the inhabitants of the infernal regions are at such 
periods peculiarly active. One of the most potent ceremonies in 
the chann, for causing the dead body to speak, is setting the door 
ajar or half open. On this account, uie peasants of Scotumd sedul- 
ously avoid leaving the door ajar, while a corpse lies in the house. 
The door must either be left wide open, or quite shut ; but the 
first is always preferred, on account of the exercise of hospitality 
usual on sudi occasions. The attendants must be likewise careful 
never to leave the corpse for a moment alone, or, if it is left alone^ 
to avoidi with a degree oi superstitious horror, the first sight of iti 

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" The following story, which is frequently related by the peasants 
of Scotland, will illustrate the imaginary danger of leaving the door 
ajar. ' Id former times, a man and his ^e lived in a solita^ cottage 
on one of the extensive Border fells. One dav the husband died 
suddenly; and his wife, who was equally afraid of staving alone by 
the corpse, or leavin^^ the dead body oy itself^ repeatedly went to the 
door, and looked anxiously over the lonelv moor for the sight of some 
person approaching. In her confusion and alarm, she accioentaUy left 
the door ajar, when the corpse suddenly started up, and sat in the 
bed, frowning and grinning at her frightfully. She sat alone, cryins 
bitterly, unable to avoid the fascination of the dead man*s eye, ana 
too much terrified to break the suUcn silence, till a Catholic priest, 
passing over the wild, entered the cottage. He first set the door 
quite open, then put his little finger in his mouth, and said the pater- 
noster backwards ; when the horrified look of the corpse relaxed, it 
fell back on the bed, and behaved itself as a dead man ought to do.' 

" The ballad is given firom tradition. I have been informed by a 
lady, of the highest literary eminence, that she has heard a ballad on 
the same subject^ in which the scene was laid upon the banks of the 
Clyde. The chorus was — 

' Ob, Bothwell banks bloom bonnlo,* 

and the watching of the dead corpse was said to have taken place in 
Bothwell church.*' 

The ballad is here printed from Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iii-i P* 10, 
with the addition of stanzas 13 to 17 inclusive, from a different 
version, published by Mr. Buchan, in Ancient Ballads, voL ii, p. 265, 
under the title of "Bondsey and MaLsry." The last two hues of 
stanza 17, and the first two of stanza 18, have, however, been very 
slightly altered. 

1 Op all the maids of fair Scotland, 

The fairest was Marjorie; 
AiQd young Benjie was her ae true love, 
And a dear trae love was he. 

2 And wow but they were lovers dear, 

And lov'd full constantlie; 
But aye the mair when they fell out. 
The saircr was their plea.* 

8 And they ba*e quarreird on a day, 
Till Marjorie's heart grew wae; 
And she said she'd chuse another luve, 
And let young Benjie gae. 

4 And he was Btoutf and proud-hearted, 
And thought o't bitterlie ; 
And he 'b gane by the wan moonlight, 
To meet his Marjorie, 
♦ ♦» Plea t " vmd obUquelj for dispute, 
bau^^^^^" ^>vo^h ttOt wbolo ballad, exoept la OM iostanoe (staoaa 10), rigolte 

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5 " Oh, open, open, my true love, 

Oh, open and let me inl " 
" I darena open, young Benjie, 
My three brothers are within." 

6 " Ye lee, ye lee, ye bonnio burd, 

Sae loud 's I hear ye lee; 
Ab I came by the Louden banks, 
They bade gude e'en to me. 

7 " But fare ye weel, my ao fause love, 

That I have lov'd sae lang ! 
It sets ye * ohuse another love, 
And let young Benjie gang." 

8 Then Marjorie tum'd her round abouty 

The tear blinding her e*e; 
" I darena, darena let thee in, 
But ril come down to thee." 

9 Then saft she smil'd, and said to him — 

He took her in his arms twa. 
And threw her o'er the linn. 

10 The stream was strong, the maid was stout, 

And laith, laith to be dang ; f 
But ere ye wan the Louden banks, 
Her fair colour was wan. 

11 Then up bespake her eldest brother — 

" Oh, see na ye what I see ? " 
And out then spake her second brother — 
" It is our sister Marjorie I " 

12 Out then spake her eldest brother — 

" Oh, how shall we her ken? " 
And out then spake her youngest brother — 
" There 's a honey mark on her chin." 

13 The eldest brother he stepped in, 

He stepped in to the knee; 
Then out he jump'd upon the bank — 
" This water 's no for me." 

14 The second brother he stepp'd in, 

He stepp'd in to the queet; 
Then out he jump'd upon the bank-* 
** This water 's wond'rous deep." 
*"SetHyo:" beoomeayoa} ironiMl, 

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15 Then the third brother he stepp'd in, 

He stepped in to the chin; 
But out again he quick did wade, 
For fear of drowning him. 

16 The youngest brother he steppM in, 

Took his sister by the hand; 
He knew her by the honey drops, 
And brought her corpse to land. 

17 Then he has ta'en the comely corpse. 

And laid it on the ground; 
Saying — " Wha has kill'd our ae sister? 
And how can he be found? 

18 " The night it is her low lykcwake. 

The mom her burial day ; 
And we maun watch at mirk midnight. 
And hear what she will say." 

19 With doors ajar, and candles light. 

And torches burning clear. 
The streekit corpse, till still midnight. 
They waked, but naething hear. 

20 About the middle of the night 

The cocks began to craw; 
And at the dead hour of the night. 
The corpse began to thraw. 

21 " Oh, wha has done thee wrang, sister, 

Or dared the deadly sin? 
Wha was sae stout, and feared nac dout, 
As throw ye o'er the linn?" 

22 ^^ Young Benjie was the first ae man 

I laid my love upon; 
He was sac stout and proud-hearted, 
He threw me o'er the linn." 

23 " Shall we young Benjie head, sister? 

Shall we young Benjie hang? 
Or shall we pike out his twa grav een, 
And punish him ere he gang? " 

24 " Ye maunna Benjie head, brothers, 

Ye maunna Benjie hang; 
But ye maun pike out his twa gray ecn, 
And punish him ere he gang* 

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25 " Tie a green gravat * round his neck, 

And lead him out and in, 
And the best ae servant about your house 
To wait young Benjie on. 

26 " And aye at every seven years' end, 

Ye'll take him to the linn; 
For that 's the penance he maun dree, 
To scug f his deadly sin." 


This favourite Scotiah ballad first appeared in Herd's collection, 
vol. i., p. 88. A more complete version subsequently appeared, in 
Jamieson's Popular Ballads, vol. i., p. 66, under the title of "The 
Cruel Brother; or, The Bride's Testament," and was there printed 
verbaUm, as taken down from the recitation of Mrs. Arrott Professor 
Aytonn, in his Ballads of Scotland, 2d edition, vol. i., p. 232, prints, 
professeidly '* from recitation," what in reality is simply a collated 
version of the two above-named. 

As the difference between the two versions occurs chiefly in the 
opening stanzas, those from Herd^ with their peculiar remtin, are 
first given up to the point at which the versions become identical 
for four stanzas, which, with the remaining portion of the ballad, are 
next given under the title, and following the text, of Jamieson's 
version ; in its earlier portion more consistent, and in its latter por- 
tion more ample and polished, than Herd's. 

The verses from this last which follow occur verbatim, and in the 
same order in Professor Avtoun's copy. Both start with *' three 
ladies " and "three lords," but one of the '* ladies" and two of the 
** lords " drop suddenly and unaccountably out of the story. 

The two following stanzas, which have a different refrain from the 
others, appear at the end of Herd's version : — 


Withe ^, 
He stack his penknife 
And the roH it mulli » sweetly. 

** 'Bide np, ride np,* cried the foremost man— 
With a heff. and a lily gay: 
*I think onr bride looks pale and wan*— 
And the nm it tmells so sweetly'' 

The concluding, or testamentary portion of the baUad, as given in 
"The Cruel Brofiher," &c., occurs, in slightly varied forms, in the two 
succeeding ballads, "The Twa Brothers," "Edward, Edward," and 
in another stUl further on, "Lord Donald." Analogous conclusions 
may also be found in Scandinavian and German ballads. 

* ^ QnmX " or eniTat; a worsted neck scarf, 
t ^30Qg ( " QOTW or ezpiato, 

) lonted down to gl'e a kiss^ 

Vith a hey^ and a lily gay; 

stack his penknife in her hass^ 

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1 There were three ladies in a hall— 

FineJUmi'rs in the valley; 
There came three lords among them all— 
The red, green, and the yellow. 

2 The first of them was clad in red — 

" Oh, ladye fair, will ye be my bride?" 

8 The second of them was clad in green — 
" Oh, ladye fair, will ye be my queen ? " 

4 The third of them was clad in yellow — 
"Oh, ladye fair, will ye be my marrow?" 

6 " Oh, ye maun ask my father dear, 
Likewise the mother that did mo bear; 

G " And ye mann ask my sister Ann, 
And not forget my brother John." 

7 " Oh, I have ask'd thy father dear. 
Likewise the mother that did thee bear; 

8 " And I have ask'd thy sister Ann, 
But I forgot thy brother John." 


1 Thebe were three ladies in a hall — 

With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay; 
There came a lord amon^ them all — 
As the primrose spreads so sweetly. 

2 The eldest was baith tall and fair ; 
But the yomigest was beyond compare. 

3 The midmost had a graceful mien ; 

Bat the youngest look'd like beauty^s queen. 

4 The kniffht bow'd low to all the three; 
But to the youngest he bent his knee. 

5 The ladye tam*d her head aside ; 

The knight he woo'd her to be his bride, 

6 The ladye blush*d a rosy red, 

And said— *♦ Sir Knight, I'm too yotmg to wed," 

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7 " Oh, ladye fair, give me yonr hand, 
And I'll make you ladye of all my land." 

8 " Sir Knight, ere you my favour win, 
Ye maun get consent frae all my kin/* 

9 He has got consent frae her parents dear, 
And likewise frae her sisters fair ; 

10 He has got consent frae her kin each one, 
But forgot to speir at her brother John. 

11 Now, when the wedding-day was come, 

The knight wou'd tfi^e his bonnie bride home. 

12 And many a lord and many a knight 
Came to behold that ladye bright. 

13 And there was nae man that did her see, 
But wished himself bridegroom to be. 

14 Her father dear led her down the stair, 
And her sisters twain they kissed her there. 

16 Her mother dear led her through the close. 
And her brother John set her on the horse. 

16 She lean'd her o'er the saddle-bow, 
To give him a kiss ere she did go. 

17 He has ta'en a knife, baith lang and sharp, 
And stabb'd the bonnie bride to the heart. 

18 She hadna ridden half through the town. 
Until her heart's blood etain'd her gown. 

19 '^ Bide saftly on,'* said the best young man, 

*^ For I think our bonnie bride looks pale and wan.** 

20 " Oh, lead me over into yon stile, 
That I may stop and breathe awhile, 

21 " Oh, lead me gently up yon hill, 

And ril there sit down and make my will.** 

22 " Oh, what will you leave to your father dear?" 
'^The silver-shod steed that brought me hero.'* 

23 "What will you leave to your mother dear ?" 
« My yelvet pall and silken gear.** 

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24 " And what will you leave to your sister Ann ?" 
" My silken scarf and my golden fan." 

25 " What will you leave to your sister Grace ? " 
" My bloody clothes to wash and dress." 

26 " What will you leave to your brother John ?" 
" The gallows-tree, to hang him on." 

27 " What will ye leave to your brother John's wife?" 
" The wilderness, to end her life." 

28 Tliis fair ladye in her grave was laid, 
And a mass was o'er her said. 

29 But it wouM have made your heart right sair — 

With a heigh-ho! and a lily gay, 
To see the bridegroom rive his hair — 
As the primrose spreads so sweetly. 


lliree Scotish versions of this ballad have appeared, as under :~ 
I. In Jamieson's Popular BcUlads and Songs, voL i., p. 59, where 
it "is given genuine, as it was taken down from the recitation 
of Mrs. Arret. A very few lines [were] inserted by the editor 
to fill up chasms, [and] inclosed in brackets." (See the stanza 
noted in connection with stanza 3 of the present text, and 
discussed under.) 
II. In A BaUad Booh, edited by C. K. Sharpe, Esq. (p. 66). 
" As to Kirkland, " says Mr. Sharpe, " my copy has only 
kirk-yard, till the last verse, where land has been added 
from conjecture. Kirkland, or Inchmurry, is in Perthshire." 

III. In MotherwelPs MinslreUy, p. 60. 

C. K. Sharpe, Esq., felt ''convinced" that ''the origin of the 
ballad " was derived from the following tragedy in real life, as quoted 
by Mr. Motherwell, who appears, from the terms in which he intro- 
duces the quotation, to comcide with G. K. Sharpe, Es<]^., in his 
opinion. He sa^^s : — "The domestic tragedy which this affectmg ballad 
commemorates is not without a precedent in real history ; nay, we 
are almost inclined to believe that it originated in the following 
melancholy event : — 

"'This year, 1589, in the moneth of July, ther falls out a sad accident, 
as a farther wameing that God was displeased with the familie. The 
Lord Sommervill haveing come from Cowthally, earlie in the morning, 
in regaird the weather waq hott, he had ridden htwd to be at tho 

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Dram be ten a dock, which haveing done, he laid him down to rest. 
The servant, with his two sones, Wuliam, Master of Sommervill, and 
John his brother, went with the horses to ane Shott of land, called 
the Prety Shott, directly opposite the front of the house where there 
was some meadow ground for grassing the horses, and willowes to 
shaddow themselves from the heat. Tney had not long continued in 
this place, when the Master of Somervill, efter some litle rest awakeing 
from his sleep, and finding his pistolles that lay hard by him wett 
with the dew, he began to rub and dry them, when unhappily one of 
them went off the ratch, being lying upon his knee, and tiie muzel 
turned syde-wavs, the ball strocke ms brother John directly in the 
head, and killed him outright, soe that his sorrowful brother never 
had one word from hiro, albeit he be^ed it with many teares.' — 
Memorieofthe SomerviUea, voL L, p. 467." 

Mr. Motherwell next refers to Mr. Jamieson's "edition of this 
ballad," as, "in point of merit, perhaps superior to*' his own. "The 
third stanza of that edition," continues he, "was, however, imperfect ; 
and the ingenious editor, Mr. Jamieson, has supplied four lines to 
render it complete. Excellent though his interpolations generally 
are, it will be seen that, in this instance, he has quite misconceived 
the scope and tendency of the piece on which he was working, and in 
consequence has supplied a reading with which the scope of his own 
copy is at complete variance, and which at same time sweex)s away 
the deep impression this simple ballad would otherwise have made 
upon the feelings ; for it is unnecessary to mention that its touching 
interest is made to centre in the boundless sorrow and cureless re- 
morse of him who had been the unintentional cause of his brother's 
death, and in the solicitude which that high-minded and generous 
spirit expresses, even in the last agonies of nature, for the safety and 
fortmies of the truly wretched and unhappy survivor." 

Mr. Motherwell's reasoning is very plausible, but not very con- 
vincing, as we can see no special analogy between even his own 
version of the ballad and the tra^c event which he and C. K. 
Sharpe, Esq., suppose it to have originated frouL If precedents are 
allowed to count for anything in such a case, Mr. Jamieson might, 
with better show of reason than Mr. Motherwell can boast o( appeal 
to one much better known, and of much earlier occurrence tiian the 
Somerville tragedy^we allude to the murder of Abel by his 
brother Cain. 

It is not, however, necessary to travel into the sacred record in 
search of a foundation for the story, as it finds a more inmiediate, 
appropriate, and exact counterpart in the Swedish ballad, ** Sven i 
Bosengard," Svenska F. V,, Tso. 67; Anoidason, No. 87, A. B.— a 
tramdation of which may be found in Literature and Romance of 
Northern Europe, vol. i., p. 263. In Schroter*s Finimche Runen 
(Finnisch and Deutsch), there is also given *' a traditionaxy ballad 
known in Finland, entitled, * Weriner Fojka,' " " Der Blutige Sohn," 
or " The Bloody Son," of which an all but literal translation may be 
found in Professor Child's English and Scottish Ballads, vol ii., p. 360. 

There are also two other similar Scotiah ballads, "Edward! 
f^ward!" which f^^Uows next in order, but in which the crime ia 

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parrioide ; and *' San Davie! Son Davie! " which is given by Mother- 
wdl, " fh)m the recitation of an old woman " {MimtreUy^ p. 839). 
This last dosely resembles "Edward! Edward!" but the crime, as 
in all the other ballads named, is fratricide. Very curiously, too, 
the first of three stanzas, as quoted from it under, vindicates Mr. 
Jamieson^B rendering of stanza 3, in opposition to Motherwell's, as 
given in the text of uie collated ballad here printed, and makes havoo 
of his theory. They are— 

" Wha t about did the plea begin ? 

SonDaviel aon Davie 1" 
" It began about tbe cutting o' a willow wand, 

That would never ha'e been a tree, 0.** 

'' What deatb dost thou deeire to die? 

SonDaviel eon Davie! 
What death dost thou desire to die? 

And the truth come tell to me, O." 

" ni set my foot in a bottomleRB ship, 

Mother ladye! mother ladye! 
ril set my foot in a bottomless ship, 

And yo U never see malr o' me, O." 

1 There were twa brothers at the skoil ; 
And when they got awa,-r- 

" It *8 will ye play at the stano-chucking?* 

Or will ye play at the ba'? 
Or will ye gae up to yon hill head, 

And there we'll warslef a fa'?" 

2 "I winna play at the stane-chucking, 
Nor will I play at the ba'; 

But I'll gao up to yon bonnie green hiU, 
And there we'll warsle a fa'." 

8 They warsled up, they warsled down, 
TUl John fell to the ground : 
A dirk fell out of William's pouch, 
Gave John a deadly wound. % 

4 " Oh, lift me, lift me on your back, 
Take me to yon well so fair, 
And wash the oluid frae aff my wound, 
And it will bleed nae mairl" 

* "Stane-chucking:" stone-putting. 
t"Wanilej" wreatte. 

t " They warsled up, they warsled down, 

The lee-Iang slmmer^B day ; 
[And nane was near to part the strife 

That raise atween them twae. 
Till out and Willie 's drawn his sword, 

ADd did hia brother slay.] ".^JamlesoOi 

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5 He 's lifted him upon his back, 

Ta'en him to yon well fair, 
And wash'd the bluid frae aff his wound. 
But aye it bled the mair. 

6 "Oh, ve'U take aflF my holyn sark, 

And rive it gair by gair, 
And Btap it in my bluidy wound, 
That It may bleed nae mair I" 

7 Oh, he *8 ta'en afif his holyn sark. 

And rived it gair by gair ; 
He 's stapt it in the bluidy wound, 
But it bled mair and mair. 

8 " Oh, lift me, lift me on your back, 

Take me to Kirkland fair, 
And dig a grave baith wide and deep, 
And lay my body there. 

" Ye'll lay my arrows at my head, 
My bent bow at my feet ; 
My sword and buckler at my side, 
As I was wont to sleep. 

10 *' But what will ye say to your father dear. 

When ye gae name at e'en?" 
" I'll say ye*re lying at yon kirk style. 
Where the grass grows fair and green," 

11 "Oh no, oh no, my brother dear, 

Oh, you must not say so; 
But say that I'm gane to a foreign land, 
Where nae man does me know. 

12 "Or when ye gang hame to my father dear, 

And he says — ^Willie, where 's John?' 
Then say that, to buy him a cask of wine, 
To England I have gone." 

13 " And what will I say to my mother dear, 

When she says — * Willie, where 's John?'" 
" Oh, say that, to buy her a new silk gown, 
To England I have gone." 

14 " And what will I say to my sister dear. 

When she says — * Willie, where 's John?'" 
<' Oh, say that, to bring her a lover true, 
To England I have gone." 

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15 " And what will I say to your true love, 

When she speirs for her love John ? " 
" Oh, say that, to buy her a wedding ring, 
To England I have gone."* 

16 [Oh, Willie he has hied him hame, 

A waeful, waeful man;] 
And when he sat in his father^s chair, 
He grew baith pale and wan. 

17 " Oh, what bluid 's that upon your brow? 

Oh, dear son, tell to me." 
" It is the bluid of my gude gray steed; 
He wou'dna ride with me. 

18 "Oh, thy steed's bluid was ne'er sae red, 

Nor e'er sae dear to me : 
Oh, what bluid 's this upon your cheek? 

lily dear son, tell to me." 
" It is the bluid of my greyhound; 

lie wou'dna hunt for me." 

19 " Oh, thy hound's bluid was ne'er sac red. 

Nor e'er sae dear to me : 
Oh, what bluid 's this upon your hand? 

My dear son, tell to me." 
" It IS the bluid of my gay gos-hawk; 

He wou'dna flee for me." 

20 " Oh, thy hawk's bluid was ne'er sae red, 

Nor e'er sae dear to me: 
Oh, what bluid 's this upon your dirk? 

Dear Willie, tell to me." 
** It is the bluid of my ae brother; 

Oh, dule and wae is me." 

21 " Oh, what will you say to your father? 

Dear Willie, tell to me." 
" I'll saddle my steed, and awa I'll ride, 
To dwell in some far countrie." 

• " *Bnt what \rtll I say to hep yon lo> dear, 
Gin she cry— Why terries my John? 
*0h, teU her I lie in Kirk-land fair, 
And home again will nerer oome."*--0. E. Sharpe'B venion. 

** When ye gae hame to mj trae lore, 
She'll speir for her lord John ; 
Te*ll say, ye left him in Kirk-land fair, 
Bat hame ye fear he'U never come."— Jamleaon's Torsloo. 

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Edward! edward! 293 

22 " Oh, when will ye come hame again? 

Dear Willie, tell to me." 
" When sun and mune leap on yon hill ; * 
And that will never be." 

23 She turnM hersel* right round about, 

And her heart burst into three: 
^' My ae best son is dead and gane. 
And my other I'll nae mair see!" 


This " terrible ballad," or, as Percy less appropriately terms it, 
'* this carious song, was transmitted" to him ** by Sir D. DiJrymple, 
Bart, late Lord Hailes." Mr. Motherwell regards it as '* rather a 
detached portion of a ballad," and thinks ** there is reason to believe 
that his lordship made a few slight verbal improvements on the copy 
he transmitted, and altered the hero's name to Edward; a name 
which, by the by, never occurs in a Scottish ballad, except where 
allusion is made to an English king." — Minairthyy Introduction, }>. 

The absurdly and alTcctedly antique orthography of the Rdiquea 
is here discarded in favour of that now usuauy adopted, but which 
was not first introduced by Herd, as the foUowmg notice in Professor 
Aytoun's Ballads of Scotland, vol. ii., p. 19 (first edition), l^ids 
its readers to suppose. His words are: — *'I adhere to the version 
first printed (i. c, Percy's 'Edward I Edward!' in preference to 
Motherwell's ballad of *Son Davie'), more especially because it 
was afterwards adopted by Herd in his collection, with a reasonable 
change of orthography;" the fact being, that Herd printed verbatim 
et literatim from Percy. 

Nor is the other reason which the Professor fives for his choice of 
version less curious or irrelevant, as honesfc David Herd had no choice 
but to give the only version which then existed in print, uxiless ho 
had picked up a different copy from recitation; which he does not 
a^mear to have done. Stanzas 1 1 and 12 are here adapted from Mother- 
well's ballad of "Son Davie, "in place of the stanzas noted under p. :" 

1 " Why does your brand sae drap with bluid? 

Edward! Edward! 
Why does your brand sao drap with bluid, 
And why sae sad gang yo, 0?" 

" Oh, I ha'e kill'd my hawk sae gude, 

Mither! mithcr! 
Ob, I ha*e kill'd my hawk sae gude, 
And I ha'e nae mair but he, 0." 

* " Wben tilt sun and moon dance on the green."*— Jomleaoq. 


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2 " Your hawk*8 bluid was never so red, 

Edward! Edward! 
Your hawk's bluid was never so red, 
My dear sod, I tell thee, 0." 

" Oh, I ha'e kiird my red-roan steed, 

Mither! mither! 
Oh, I ha'e kilVd my red-roan steed. 
That erst was fair and free, 0." 

3 "Your steed was auld, and ye ha'e got mair, 

Edward! Edward! 
Your steed was auld, and ye ha'e got mair; 

dye t 

Some other dule ye dree, 

" Oh, I ha'e kill'd my father dear, 

Mither! mither! 
Oh, I ha*e kilPd my father dear, 
Alas! and wae is me, 0." 

4 " And whatten penance will ye dree for that? 

Edward! Edward! 
And whatten penance will ye dree for that? 
My dear son, now tell me, 0." 

" I'll set my feet in yonder boat, 

Mither! mither! 
I'll set mv feet in yonder boat, 
And I'll tare over the sea, 0," 

5 "And what will ye do with your tow'rs and your ha'? 

Edward! Edward! 
And what will ye do with your tow'rs and your ha', 
That were sae lair to see, ? '* 

" I'll let them stand till they down fa\ 

Mither! mither! 
I'll lei them stand till they down fa'; 
For here never mair maun I be, 0." 

6 "And what will ye leave to your poor wife? 

Edward! Edward! 
And what will ye leave to your poor wife. 
When ye gang over the sea, ? " 

" Grief and sorrow all her life, 

Mither! mitLcr! 

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Grief and sorrow all her life ; 

For her never mair will I see, 0." • 

" And what will ye leave to your voting son ? 
Edward! Edward I 
And what will ye leave to your young son, 
When ye gang over the sea, 0?" 

" The wide warld, to wander up and down, 
Mitnerl mitherl 
The wide warld, to wander up and down; 
He will never get mair frae me, 0." 

"And what will ye leave to your ain mither dear? 

Edward 1 Edward 1 
And what will ye leave to your ain mither dear, 
My dear son, now tell to me, ? " 

" The curse of hell frae me shall ye bear, 

Mither! mitherl 
The curse of hell frae me shall ye bear- 
Sic counsels ye gave to me, 01" 


The foUowinjo; are the different versions of this highly popular 
ballad, named in the order of their appearance : — 

L "The Miller and the King's Daughter,*' in WU Bestor'd 
(1658). Mr. Jamieson and Sir Walter Scott both designate 
this as a parodv. Professor Child, however, contends 
that it is not, although he admits that "two or three 
stanzas are ludicrous." "Mr. Bimbault has printed 
the same piece from a broadside, dated 1656, in 2fotes 
and Queries, v., 691." 

II. " Binnone," in Pinkerton's Scottish Tragic Ballads, p. 72. 
ContoLQs a few scraps of the original; but is, for the 
most part, Pinkerton^s own manufacture. 

* VariatiM.'^*^ * And what will ye leave to joar balms and your wife? 

Edward 1 Edward 1 
And what will ye leave to your balms and yonr wife, 
When ye gang over the sea, O? ' 

'* 'The warld's room— let them beg through life, 
Mitherl mitherl 
The warld*B room— lot them beg through life; 
yor them neyer mair will I Bee, 0.' "—Original version. 

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III. "The Cruel Sister," in Sir Walter ScoW b Minslrdy, vol. 
iii, p. 287. '*It is compiled from a copy in Mrs. 
Brown's MSS., intermixed with a bcautiiul fragment 
of fourteen verses, transmitted to the editor," Sir 
Walter Scott, "bjr J. C. Walker, Esq., the ingenious 
historian of the Irish bards. Mr. Walker, at the same 
time, favoured the editor" of the Border Minstrelsy 
"with the following note: — *I am indebted to my de- 
parted friend. Miss firook, for the forcgoinp; x^^^^^'^i^^ 
fragment. Her account of it was as follows: — This 
song was transcribed, several years ago, from the 
memory of an old woman, who had no recollectiou of 
the concluding verses; probably the beginning may 
also be lost, as it seems to commence abruptly. The 
first verse and burden of the fragment ran thus : — 

•Oh. BiBtor, Bister, roach thy hand! 

Hey ho, my Nanny, 0, 
And yon shall be heir of all my land, 

While the swan swims bonnio, O.* 

The first part of this chorus seems to be corrupted 
from the common burden of *Hey Nimny, Nanny,' 
alluded to in the song beginning, 'Sigh no more, 
Ladyes.' The chorus retained in this edition is the 
most common and popular; but Mrs. Brown's copy 
bears a yet dififerent burden, beginning thus :— 

*• There were twa Bisters sat in a bow'r— 

Ldinborough, Edinborough; 
There were twa sisters sat in a bow'r— 

Stirling for aye; 
There were twa sisters sat in a bow'r, 
There cam* a kzUght to bo their wooor — 

Bozmie St Johnston stands upon Tay.* ** 

rV. **The Twa Sisters," in Jamieson's Popular Ballads, vol. 
]., p. 48, given verbatim from the recitation of Mrs. 
Brown. Tne refrain, however, was changed from that 
noted above to the one generally used, and several 
interpolated stanzas of Mr. Jamieson's own were intro- 
duced, but "included within brackets." 

Mr. Jamieson's ** copy, in the exact state in which it 
appears" in his work, "was shown by the editor to 
Mr. (afterwards Sir Walter) Scott, some years before 
the publication of the Minstrelsy, and before ho (Scott) 
had any thoughts of adopting it." 

\, *' The Twa Sisters," in Sharpe's Ballad Book, p. 30. The 
refrain is similar to that oi Mrs. Brown's version, as may 
be seen from tbe first stanza, which reads— 

" There lived twa sisters in a bow*r— 

Hey Edinbruch, how Edinbrach; 
There lived twa sisters in a bow'r-' 

Stirling for aye : 
The youngest o' them, oh, she was a flowerl 
Bonnie Sanct Johnstouno that stands npon TSj." 

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VI. **Tlio Bonnie Bows o' London" (London?) in Bachan's 
Ancient BaUads, voL ii, p. 128. The refrain ia — 

"Hey vrr the gay and the grinding, 
At the bonnle, bonnle bows o' London.** 

** The old woman from whose recitation" Mr. Buchan 
"took it down, says, she had heard another way of it, 
qnite local, whose onrden runs thus, — * Even into Buchan- 
ahire, van, van, ! ' " (Note, p. 321.) 

The text which follows is collated from Scott's and from Jamieson's 
versions; but the latter, being on the whole the best, is the one 
generally adopted. 

" The same stor^r is found in Icelandic, Norse, Faroish, and Estnish 
ballads, as well as in the Swedish and Danish, and a nearly related 
one in many other ballads or tales— German, Polish, Lithuanian, &c. 
&C. See StJenska Folk'Visorj iii., 16; i., 81, 86; Arwidsson, ii., 1.39; 
and 'Den Talende Strengeleg,* Gmndtvig; No. 95; and the notes to 
*Der Singende Knochen,* K. U. H. Mdrchen, iii., 55, ed. 1856."— 
Professor Child's English and ScottUh BaUads, vol. ii., p. 231. 

N.B, — "It may be necessary evpJionioe gratia to caution the English 
[or American] reader, that the burden is pronounced Binnorie, and not 
Binndrie, as it is accented in a beautiful little modem ballad bearing 
that name, which appeared in the Mo7*ning Chronicle some time ago." 
— Jamieson (1806). 

1 There were twa sisters lived in a bower — 

Binnorie, Binnorie/ 
There came a knicht to be their wooer, 
By the bonnie miU-dams of Binnorie. 

2 He courted the eldest with glove and ring; 
But he loved the youngest aboon a' thing. 

3 He courted the eldest with brooch and knife ; 
But hejoved the youngest as his life. 

4 The eldest she was vexM sair, 
And sair envied her sister fair. 

5 Tntil her bow'r she cou'dna rest; 
With grief and spite she maistly brast. 

G Upon a momin' fair and clear, 
She cried upon her sister dear : 

7 " Oh, sister ! come to the sea-strand, 
And see onr father's ships come to land." 

8 She 's ta'en her by the milk-white hand, 
And led her down to yon sea- strand. 

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9 The youngest stood upon a stane, 
The eldest came and pushed her in. 

10 She took her by the middle sma', 

And dashed her bonnie back to the jaw. 

11 "0 sister, sister, reach your hand, 
And ye shall be heir of half my land.** 

12 " sister, Til not reach my hand, 
And I'U be heir of all your land." 

13 << Shame fa' the hand that I shon'd take, 
It 's twin*d me, and my world's maik," 

14 *< sister, reach me but your glove, 
And sweet William shall be your love." 

16 " Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove, 
And sweet William shall better be my love. 

IG " Your cherry cheeks, and your yellow hair, 
Gar'd me gang maiden evermair." 

17 Sometimes she sunk, sometimes she swam, 
Until she came to the miller's dam, 

18 Oh, out it came the miller's son. 
And saw the fair maid floating down. 

19 "0 father, father, draw your dam— 

Binnorie, Binnoriel 
There 's a mermaid or a milk-white swan 
In the bonnie mill-dams of Binnorie." 

20 [The miller quickly drew the dam, 
And there he found a drown'd wom^n.* 

21 " Sair will they be, whae'er they be. 
Their hearts that live to weep for thee.] 

22 " And sair and lang may their teen t last, 
That wrought thee sic a dowie cast." 

* Stated by JamleBon In his Introdnctton to iM, tad bracketed by him in the 
text B8, one of his interpolatlona. It occnra, however, in Scott's copy without note 
or comment) the only differenoe being the Bubstitatioo, in the flnt lineL of ** hasted 
and "in place of "quickly." -o -» -i 

t **Teen: " remone or snfferlng. 

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23 You cou'dna see her yellow hair, 

For gowd and pearl that were bo rare. 

24 Tou couMna see her middle sma', 
For her gowden girdle sae braw. 

25 You couMna see her fingers white, 

For gowden rings that were sae bright. 

26 By there came a harper fine, 
That harped to the king at dine.* 

27 And when he look'd that ladye on, 
He sighed, and made a heavy moan. 

28 [" Oh, wha shall tell, to thy father dear, 
The sad and waefu* sight that 's here? 

29 " And wha in thy mother's bow'r shall tell 
The weird her dearest bairn befell? 

80 " And wha to thy luckless lover speak 
The tidings will gar his heart to break? "] 

SI He made a harp of her breast-bone, 

Whose sounds would melt a heart of stone. 

82 He 'b ta*en three locks of her yellow hair. 
And with tliem strung his harp sae fair.f 

83 He brought the harp to her father's hall ; 
And there was the court assembled all, 

84 He laid the harp upon a stane, 
And straight it began to play alane. 

85 " Oh, yonder sits my father, the king. 
And yonder sits my mother, the queen. 

86 " And yonder stands my brother Hugh, 
And by him my William, sweet and true." 

• Variation,'^*' A famooB haroer puslBg by, 

The Bweet pale face he cnaDoed to ip7."->SG0tt*B yenlon. 

t rarta<t<m.— " The strings he form*d of her yellow hair, 

Their notes made sad the listening ear."->SootV0 Tendon. 
Stanzas 81 and 88 to 87, ineloslTe, are from the same. 

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37 But the last tune that the harp played then, 
Was—" Woe to my Bister, false Helen! "• 


Various versions of this hallad, more or less varied, have appeared, 
as under :~ 

I. "A few mutilated stanzas," in Herd's Scottish Songs, voL 
ii., p. 237, with the refrain of— 

**0h,aadaUt»«-da7l oh, and alas-Brday t 
Teo thonsond tixnee good night and [joy] be wl* thee.** 

II. "Fine Flowers in the Valley," Johnson's MttsiceU Museura^ 
voL iv., p. 331, as commimicated by the poet Bums. The 
title is taken from the first line of the refrain, the other 
line being — 

"And the green leaves they grow rarely.** 

The lines quoted below by Scott, from memory, are almost 
identical with stanzas 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 of this version. 

IIL '^Ladye Anne," in Scott's Minstrelsy, voL iii** P- 13> and 
'< conmiunicated " to him ''b^r Mr. Charles Kirkpatrick 
Sharpe of Hoddom, who mentions having copied it from 
an old magazine. Although it has probably received some 
modem corrections, the general tum seems to be ancient, 

* Mr. Jflmteeon*B copy conclndes as follows, the bracketed stanas being hla own 
aoknowlodged interpoUtlonsL They follow stanza 38 of text :~ 

** [The harp nntonch'd to the wlndes rang, 
Blnnorle, Blnnoriel 
And sad and doleful was the sang, 
By the bonnle mill-dams of Blnnorle.] 

** The first tone it did play and sing. 
Wai«* Farewell to my father the king;* 

** The nexten tone that it played bedene, 
Was~* Farewell to my mother the queen;' 

M The thlrden tone that it played then, 
Was—* Wae to my sister, fair £llen 1 ' 

" [Bat the lasten tane it played sae small. 
Was saf t and radly sweet o*er aU. 

*' The hardest heart woold ha'e bled to hear, 
It moaned with sic a dowie cheer. 

" And fareweel, oh, fareweel to thee, 
Binnorie, O Blnnorle I 
The dearest youth in life to me, ^ 

By the bonnie m1ll*dams of Bbmorte.*! 

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and correspODols," sa^ra Scott, "with that of a fragment, 
containing the following verses, which I have often beard 
snng in my childhood :— 

** She Bet her back aflalnst a thorn. 
And there she has her young eon ^ 
•Oh, emlle na sae, my bonnie babe 

And there she has ner young eon born. 

•Oh, emlle na sae, my bonnie babe! 

An ye emlle sae Bweet, ye'li smile me dead.' 

An* when that ladye went to the church. 
She spied a naked boy hi the porch. 

" • Oh, bonnie boy, an ye were mine, 
Fd dead ye In the silks sae fine.* 
•Oh, moUier dear, when I was thine, 
To me ye were na half sae kind.* " 

''Ladye Anne" was reprinted by Bnchan, with the addition 
of one stanza, in his Oleanings of Old Ballads, p. 90. 

IV. "The Cruel Mother," in MotherwelVs Minstrelsy, j>, 161. 
The second and fourth lines, composing the refrain, are 
respectively — 

"Three, three, and three by three; " 

"Three, throe, and thirty-throe." 

V. "The Cruel Mother," in Kinloch's Ancient SeotUsh Ballads, 
p. 44. The opening line describes " London '' as the place 
of the lady's residence. Mr. Kinloch mentions that '*the 
Scottish Parliament, in 1690, had recourse to a severe law, 
which declared that a mother concealing her pregnancy, 
and not calliiu; in assistance at the birth, should be pre- 
sumed guilty of murder, if the child were" amissin^ or found 
dead. Sir Walter Scott's Heart of Midlothian is chiefly 
founded on a breach of this law. The refrain of Mr. Kin- 
loch's version is the one here adopted. 

VI. "The Minister's Daughter of New York," in Buchan's 
Ancient Ballads, vol. ii., p. 217; or, "The Minister's 
Dochter o' Newarke," as the title is given in an improved 
copy of the same, which appears in Scottish Traditional 
Versions of Ancieni Ballads, Percy Society, vol xviL, 
p. 61. The refrain is — 

*'Hey wl* the rose and the Ilndie, O; " 

"Alane by the green bom sidle, 0." 

VIL "The Cruel 
Ancient . 
series, voL xvii, p. 46. 

•*She throw henell ower the castIe-wa*~£<fitt&ro\ Edinhro"; 
She threw hersell ower the castle-wa'— iSUtr/inj^ybr aye; 
She threw hersell ower the castle-wa'; 
There I wat she got a fa*>- 
So proper Saint Johnstm stands fair upon Tay" 

VIIL Smith's Scottish Minstrel, vol. iv., p. 33, contains a still 
different version under the same title, and with the same 
' refrain as that contained in Johnson's Musical Museum. 

ruel Mother." which also appears in Buchan's 
\ Ballads, voL it, p. 222, ond m the Percy Society 
7oL xvii, p. 46. it closes with this stanza — 

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Five German and three Wendish ballads of a Bimilar nature are 
referred to by Professor Child, in Snglish and ScoUieh BcUlads, vol. 
ii., p. 262. 

The annotator of "The Minister's Dochter o' Newarke" (Percy 
Society series, voL xvii., p. 96) explains that " by * minister ' is meant 
a minstrel, as in Chancer:— 

I ^ gret host of ministfrs, 

With Instramenta and BOtmeB diTeree.' 

Chancer'B DreaiM^ L, 2132." 

And "by 'clerk,'" he infers that it is not "a person in holy orders, 
but a student or young man learning al maner of mynstralcie," that 

The same writer regards "the villa^o of Newark, on Yarrow," as 
"the locality " indicated. Mr. Furnivall may, however, feel inclined 
to claim the heroine and ballad as English, and localize both at 
Newark, in Nottinghamshire — a noted stage on the road from York 
to London. Or some zealous American may contend that Mr. 
Buchan's title is perfectly correct. For our own part, with the 
impartiality and fairness so specially characteristic or Scotsmen, wc 
foroear to dogmatize. 

The writer already quoted remarks, that "the burden of this ballad 
[version VI.] iei very ancient, and, when coupled with the purgatorial 
nature of the pimishment of the heroine, affords a strong presumption 
of the antiquity of the whole composition. " 

Pyihagorian, in place of purgatorial, is probably the moro correct 

This featuro is peculiar to version VI., which is the one chiefly 
followed in the text here printed. 

1 The minister's dochter of Newarke, 

All alone, and alonie, 
Has fallen in love with her father's clerk, 
Down by the greenwood sae bonnie. 

2 She courted him sax years and a day ; 
At length her false love did her betray. 

d She has ta'en her mantle her about, 
And sat her down on an auld tree root. 

4 She leant her back unto an aik : 
First it bow'd, and syne it brake. 

5 She leant her back unto a thorn, 

And there she has her twa babes bom. 

G '^ Oh, smile na sae, my babes sae sweet, 
Smile Da sae, for it gars me greet." 

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7 She 's ta'en the ribbons frae ber hair, 
And bound their bodies fast and sair. 

8 Then she 'b ta'en out a little penknife, 
And twined each sweet babe of its life. 

9 She 's houkit a grave baith deep and wide, 
And put them in baith side by side. 

10 She 's covered them o'er with a big whin stane, 
Thinking to gang like maiden hame. 

1 1 She 's gane back to her father's castle hall, 
And she seem'd the lealcst maid of them all. 

12 As she looked o'er her father's castle wall, 
She saw twa pretty babes playing at the ball. 

13 " Oh, bonnie babes, if ye were mine, 

I wou'd feed and clead ye fair and fine. 

14 " I would feed you with the ferra cow's * milk, 
And clead you in the finest silk I " 

15 "It's oh, cruel mother I when we were thine. 
Ye did neither feed nor clead us fine ; 

16 "But oh, cruel mother! when we were thine, 
Ye tied us with ribbons and hempen twine ; 

17 " And then ta'en out your wee penknife, 
And twined us each of our sweet life." 

18 " Oh, bonnie babes I can ye tell me 

What sort of penance for this I maun dree?" 

19 "Yes, cruel mother I we will tell thee 
The penance ye for this maun dree : 

20 " Seven years a fool in the woods. 
Seven years a fish in the floods ; 

21 " Seven years to be a church bell, 
Pealing joy to us, but woe to yoursel'; 

22 " Seven years a porter to hell. 

And then evermair in its torments to dwell. 

f ** Fern cow : ** ft cow not with calf, bat which continneB to yield milk. 

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23 " But we Bliall dwell in the heavens hie, 
While you your penance and torments dree." 

24 " Welcome! welcome I fool in the woods, 
Welcome I welcome I fish in the floods; 

25 "Welcome I welcome I to be a church bell, 
But Gudo preserve me out of belli "^ 


From Scott's MiuatreUy^ vol. iii., p. 18, with the addition of the 
penultimate stanza from Buchan^s Oleaningg, p. 91. See preceding 
mtroduction, (III.) According to this version, the act of murder was 
not really committed by the "cruel mother," but by a "fause 
nurse," or baby farmer of the olden time. 

1 Fair Ladye Anne sat in her bowV, 

Down by the greenwood side; 
And the flowVs did spring, and the birds did sing — I 

Twas the pleasant May-day tide. 

2 But fair Ladye Anne on Sir William call'd, 

With the tear grit in her e*e : 
*' Oh, tlio' thou be fause, may heaven thee guard 
In the wars ayont the seal" 

3 Out of the wood came three bonnie boys, 

Upon the summer's mora, 
And they did sing and play at the ba\ 
As naked as they were born. 

4 " Oh, seven lang years wou'd I sit here, \ 
Amang the frost and snaw. 

All to ha*e ane of these bonnie boys 
A-playing at the ba\ " 

Then up and spake the eldest boy — 

" Now listen, thou fair ladye. 
And ponder well the rede that I tell, 

Then make ye a choice of the three. 

" 'Tis I am Peter, and this is Paul, 

And that ane, sae fair to see, 
But a twelve-month sin syne to paradise came, 

To join with our companie. " 


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7 " Oh, I will ha'e the snaw-white boy, 

The bonniest of the three." 
" And if I were thine and in thy propino,* 
Oh, what wou'd ye do to me? " 

8 " It 's I wou'd dead thee in silk and gowd, 

And nourish thee on my knee." 
"0 mother! mother! when I was thine, 
Sic kindness I couMna see. 

9 "At love's gay call, in the baron's hall. 

Ye quaff'd the laughing wine, 
While foodless days and sleepless nights 
In a menial's hut were mine. 

10 " Beneath the turf, where now I stand, 
The fause nurse buried me; 
The cruel penknife still sticks in my heart, 
And I come not back to thee." 


Scotish versions, or fragments of versions, of this ballad have 
appeared as under :~ 

L In Johnson's Musical Museum, voL iv., p. 337, consisting of 
two stanzas recovered by Burns. 

XL In Scott's Minstrelsy, vol iii., p. 43. ** There is," writes 
Sir Walter, " a beautiful air to this old ballad. The hero 
is more generally termed Lord Ronald; but I willingly 
follow the authority of an Ettrick Forest copy for callmg 
him Randal,— because, though the circumstances are so 
veiy different, I think it not impossible that the ballad 
may have originally regarded the death of Thomas Ran- 
dolph, or Randal, Earl of Murray, nephew to Robert 
Bruce, and €rovemor of Scotland. This great warrior died 
at Musselburgh, 1332, at the moment when his services 
were most necessary to his countrv, already threatened by 
an English army. For this sole reason, perhaps, our 
historians obstinately impute his death to }X}iBon. See 
T?ie Bruce, by Barbour, book xx. Fordun repeats, and 
Boece echoes, this stoiy, both of whom charge the mui*der 
on Edward III. But it is combated successfully by Lord 
Hailes, in his Remarks on the History of Scotland, 

^ **FropiDo : " ueually ^ft; bqt hero tho power of ^ylxi(^ or iMStowin^. 

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"The snbstitation of some venomoiu reptile for foodC or 
putting it into liquor, was anciently supposed to be a 
common mode of administering poison, as appears from 
[a] curious account of the dcatn of King John, extracted 
from a MS. Chronicle of England, penes John Clerk, 
Esq., advocate. There is a very similar song, in which, 
apparently to excite greater interest in the nursery, the 
handsome young hunter is exchanged for a little child, 
poisoned by a false step-mother." * 

III. In Allan Cunningham's Scottish Songs, voL L, p. 285. It is 
similar to Scott's, but has one stanza more. 

IV. In Kinloch's Ancient Scottish BaUads, p. 110, under the title 
of "Lord Donald," as here printed next in order. 

V. In Bu chants Ancient Ballads, vol. ii., p. 179, under the title 
of "Willie Doo" (Dove). Mr. Buchan says:— "I have 
every reason to believe that this is the beautiful nursery 
song to which Sir Walter Scott alludes, now for the first 
time printed.'' Note, p. 327. 

In Chambers's Popular Rhymes of Scotland, p. 51, under the 

title of "The Croodin Doo." Dr. Chambers states it to be 

Mrs. Lockhart's copy, as she used to sing it to her father 

at Abbotsford. But for the fact that Lockhart, in a note 

to Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iii, p. 48, mentions Buchan's 

version as "probably" the one referred to by Scott, we 

should have supposed Mr. Buchan to be mistaken in his 

opinion, and Dr. Chambers's version to be the one referred 


With reference to this ballad, Mr. Jamieson writes:— "As I have 

lately heard it insinuated, upon authority that ought to have some 

weighty that nothing was known of the tragical fragment beginning — 


'Oh, whar0 ha*e ye been, Lord Ronald, my son?* 

till the publication of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum, I am happy 
to be able to furnish the reader— along with the assurance that there 
are many persons in Scotland who learnt it Ions before it was printed 
—with two curious scraps, the genuineness of which is unquestion- 
able. An English gentleman, wno had never paid any attention to 
ballads, nor ever read a collection of such things, told me, that, when 
a cliild, he learnt from a playmate of his own age, the daughter of a 
clergyman in Suflfolk, the following imperfect ditty : — 

• *• ' Whore have you been to-day, Billy, my son? 

Where have you been to-day, my only man? ' 
' Tre been a-wooing, mother; make my bed soon, 
For rm sick at heart, and fain woola lay down l* 

" * What have you ate to-day, BlUy, my son? 
What have you ate to-day, my only man?' 
* Tve ate eel-pie, mother; make my bed soon, 
For I'm sick at heart, and shall die before noont"* 

* This introduction of Scott's is a fair sample of the drivelling nonsense which a 
man of genius may writo. We have cover seon, hoard, nor read of any one else who 
has adopted the above wire-drawn and pal^mbly erroneous theory. 

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Mr. Jamieson then qaotes a '^ German" popular ditty, inserted in the 
Knaben Wunderhom, and accompanies it with "a verhaUm English 
prose translation," under the title of "Grandmother Addercook," 
remarking, '' that any one of these Scottish, English, andGerman copies 
of the same tale has been borrowed or translated from another, seems 
very improbable ; and it would now be in vain to attempt to ascertain 
what it originally was, or in what age it was produced. It has had 
the great good fortune in every country to get possession of tho 
nursery— a circumstance which, from the enthusiasm and curiosity 
of young imaginations, and the communicative volubility of little 
tongues, has insured its preservation."— /Wi««<ra^2o;w of Northern 
Antiquities, pp. 319-322. 

For Scandinavian versions, see "Den Lilas Testamente;" Svenaha 
Folk' Visor, iiL , 13. Translated in Literature and Romance of Northern 
Europe f i, 265. See also Arwidsson's Fomaanger, ii, 90. 

There are other English versions besides the fragment cited by, and 
quoted from, Jamieson. Hector Macneill's popular song, " My Boy 
Tammie," appears also to be inspired from the same source. And 
away in the sunuy south, on the once gay, but lately devastated 
plains of Louisiana, the following lively strain, which sounds some* 
what like a burlesque of the tragic ballad, may be heard :— 

" • Oh, where have you been, Billy hoyJWlly boy? 
Oh. where have you been, oharmlDg JBilly?* 
' I have been to seek a wife— ehe *b the loy of my Ilfo— 
She*B a youog thing, and cannot leave her mother! ' 

** • Did she ask you to come in, BQly boy, Billy boy ? 
Did she ask vou to come in, channing Billy? * 

* Yes, she asked me to come in, with a dimple in her chin- 
She 's a young thing, and cannot leave her mother I ' 

** • Did she bid yon take a chair, Billy boy, BUIy boy? 
Did she bid you take a chair, charming BUIy?' 

* Yes, she bade me take a chair, with a ringlet in her ha!r^ 
She's a young thing, and cannot leave her mother! ' 

** 'Is she often seen at church, Billy boy, Billy boy? 
Is she often seen at church, charmins Billy? ' 

* Yes, she's often seen at church, witn a bonnet white as birch- 
She '8 a young thing, and cannot leave her mother! ' 

* Oh, is she very tall, Billy boy, Billy boy? 
Oh, is she very tall, charming Billy? ' 

* She 's tall as a pine, and straight as a pumpkin vine- 
She 's a young thing, and cannot leave her mother! ' 

*** Can she make a cherry pie, Billy boy, Billy boy? 
Can she make a cherry pie, charmhig Billy? ' 

* She can bake a cherry pie, in the twinkle of an ero— 
She 'B a young thing, and cannot leave her mother? ' " 

1 " Where ha*e ye been hunting, Lord Randal, my son ? 
Where ha'e ye been hunting, my handsome young man? " 
"In yon wild wood, mither; bo make my bed soon, 
For I'm wao and Tm weary, and fain wou'd lie down." 

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** Where got ye your dinner, Lord Randal, my son? 
Where got ye your dinner, my handsome young man ? " 
" Oh, I dined with my true love ; so make ray bed soon, 
For I*m wae and I'm weary, and fain wou'd lie down." 

"Oh, what was your dinner, Lord Randal, my son? 
Oh, what was your dinner, my handsome young man? *' 
" Eels boiled in broo, mither; so make my bed soon, 
For I'm wae apd I'm weary, and fain wou'd lie down." 

" Oh, whore did she find them. Lord Randal, my son? 
Oh, where did she catch them, my handsome young man? " 
** 'Neath the bush of brown brechan ; so make my bed soon, 
For I'm wae and I'm weary, and fain wou'd lie down." 

" And where are your blood-hounds. Lord Randal, my eon? 
What came of your blood-hounds, my handsome young 

" They swell'd and they died, mither; and sae maun I soon: 
I am wae, I am weary, and fain wou'd lie down." 

" I fear you are poison'd, Lord Randal, my son! 
I fear you are poison'd, my handsome young man 1 " 
" Oh, yes! I am poison'd; so make my bed soon: 
I am sick, sick at heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 


From Kinloch's Andent Scottish Ballada, p. 109. 

** This ballad," says Mr. Kinloch, ** seems to be of an ancient castr 
Thia copy, which was procured in the north, differs in manv respects 
from that of ' Lord Randal,' and appears to be more complete m its 

** It would seem (stanza 5) that Lord Donald had been poisoned by 
eating toads, i)repared as a dish of fishes. Though the frog is in some 
countries considered a delicacy, the toad has always been viewed as a 
venomous animal. The reader is referred to" Scott's Minstrelsy, voL 
iii., p. 43, " for a curious extract, from a MS. Chronicle of England, 
relative to the death of King John, who is said to have been poisoned 
by drinking a cup of ale in which the venom of a toad had been 

"Misht not the Scots proverbial phrase, ' To gi'e one frogs instead 
of fish," as meaning to substitute what is bad or disagreeable for 
expected good, be viewed as allied to the idea of the venomous 
quality of the toad? This phrase occurs in the ballad of * Eatherine 
Janfaiie.' "^Ante, p. 85, 

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The diversity of national tastes, as above referred to, is very well 
hit ofif in a rencontre between **a fine old Scotch lady, one of the 
olden time/' and a Frenchman. It is said that the latter expressed 
by words and grimace his astonishment or disgust at the Scotch 
l^artiality for porridge ; on which the old dame promptly and drily 
remarked — "Ay, ay, tastes differ: Bomo folks like pan^Uch, and 
ithers like pudaocks;" i,e., frogs. 

1 " Oh, whare ha'e ye been all day, Lord Donald, my son? 
Oil, whare ha'e ye been all day, my jolly young man? " 
" I've been awa courtin' ; mitner, make my bed soon, 
For Tm sick at the heart, and I fain wou'd He down." 

2 " What wou'd you ha'e for your supper, Lord Donald, my son ? 
What wou'd you ha'e for your supper, my jolly young 

" I've gotten my supper ; mither, make my bed soon, >- . 
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wouhl lie down." 

3 " What did ye get for your supper, Lord Donald, my son ? 
What did ye get for your supper, my jolly young man ?" 
" A dish of sma' fishes; mither, make my bed soon, 

For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 

4 "Whare gat ye the fishes, Lord Donald, my son? 
Whare gat ye the fishes, my jolly young man ?" 

"In my father's black ditches; mither, make my bed soon, 
For I'm sick at tho heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 

6 " What like were your fishes, Lord Donald, my son? 
What like were your fishes, my jolly young man ? " 
"Black backs and speckl'd bellies; mither, make my bed 

For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 

6 " Oh, I fear ye are poison'd, Lord Donald, my sonl 
Oh, I fear ye are poison'd, my jolly young man ! " 

" Oh, yes 1 1 am poison'd ; mither, make my bed soon, 
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 

7 " Wliat will you leave to your father. Lord Donald, my son ? 
What will ye leave to your father, my folly young man ? " 
" Baith my houses and land ; mither, make my bod soon. 
For Vm sick at tho heart, and I fain would lie down." 

7 " What will leave to yeur brither, Lord Donald, my son ? 
What will you leave to your brither, my jolly young man ? " 
" My horse and the saddle ; mither make my bed soon. 
For Tm sick at the heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 

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9 " What will you leave to your sister, Lord Donald, my son? 
What will ye leave to your sister, my jolly youne man?" 
" Baith my gold box and rings ; mither, make my bed soon, 
For Tm sick at the heart, and I fain wou'd lie down." 

10 "What will you leave to your true love, Lord Donald, my 

What will you leave to your true love, my jolly young 

" The tow and the halter, for to hang on yon tree, 
And let her hang there for the poisoning of me," 


From Motherwell's MinstreUy, p. 88. "This ballad is given," 
states Motherwell, "from two copies obtained from recitation, which 
di£fer but Uttle from each other. Indeed, the only variation is in the 
verse where the outlawed brother unweetingly slays his sister. One 
reading is — 

*■ He *B taken oat his wee penknife— 

And no 'b twin'd her o* her ain sweet life, 
On the bonnie banks of Fordie.* 

The other reading is that adopted in the text. This ballad is popular 
in the southern pari^es of Perthshire; but where the scene is laid, 
the editor has been unable to asoertam ; nor has any research of his 
enabled him to throw any farther light on the history of its hero 
with the fantastic name, than what the ballad itself supplies." 

A different version from Einloch's collection follows. A similar 
ballad is to be found in Danish, under the title of ** Herr Truel's 
Doetre," Danske Viser^ No. 164; and "in a note," sajrs Professor 
Child, "the editor endeavours to show that the story is based on 

Professor Aytoun "conjectures that the name, 'Baby Lon,' is a 
cormption, by tiie reciters, of ' Burdalane,' signifying ' the Sohtary ; * 
a very appropriate name for an outlaw." 

1 There were three ladies lived in a bow'r — 

Eh vow bonnie; 
And they went out to pull a flow r, 
On the bonnie banks of Fordie. 

2 They hadna pu'ed a flowV but ane. 
When up started to them a banishM man. 

3 lie *8 ta^en the first sister by her hand, 

And he 'b turned her round and made Lor stand. 

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4 " It 'fl whether will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee penknife ? " 

5 " It 's 111 not be a rank robber's wife, 
But I'll rather die by your wee penknife." 

C He 's kill'd this May, and he 's laid her by, 
For to bear the red rose company.* 

7 He 's taken the second ane by the hand, 

And he 's tum'd her round and made her stand. 

8 " It 's whether will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee penknife?" 

9 " I'll not be a rank robber's wife, 

But I'll rather die by your wee penknife." 

10 He 's kill'd this May, and he 's laid her by. 
For to bear the red rose company. 

11 He 's taken the youngest ane by the hand. 
And he 's tum'd her round and made her stand. 

12 Says — " Will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee penknife?" 

13 " I'll not be a rank robber's wife, 
Nor will I die by your wee penknife ; 

14 " For I ha'e a brother in this wood. 
And gin ye kill me, it 's he'll kill thee.'* 

15 " What 's thy brother's name, come, tell to mo? " 
" My brother's name is Baby Lon." 

16 "0 sister, sister, what have I done? 
Oh, have I done this ill to thee? 

17 " Oh, since I've done this evil deed, 
Good shall never be seen of me." 

18 He 's taken out his wee penknife — 

^ Eh vow honnie; 
And he 's twin'd himsel' of his ain sweet life, 
On the honrde hanks ofFordk, 

• There is here an evident allusion to the snperslition connected with the red 
rose, which was probably the flowor she pulled- Vide Life and Correspondence of 
W. Q. Lewis: in re, murder of Miss Hay by a clergyman, Hockman. In certain dis- 
ricta of Italy, &c., the red rose ia an emblem of early death, and it is an evil omen 
to scatter its leayes on tfte groumi. 

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From Kinloch's Ancient Scottish BaUads, p. 210. 

This is a different version of the preceding ballad. Mr. Kinloch 
says : — ** The present copy is from Mearnsshire. It appears to relate 
to the fiunily of Drnmmond of Perth ; and, although the title of 'Duke 
of Perth' was unknown prior to the Revolution, the assumption 
of it here does not lessen the antiquity of the biJlad, as it is a well- 
known custom among the vulgar, from whom we have to glean our 
' legendary lore,' frequently to edter the names of persons and places 
to suit their own fancy or caprice ; and this ballad, though really 
relating to the &mily alludea to, may have formerly borne a mora 
humble name, and acquired its present title on the creation of the 

The ballad may have received the above title in consequence of 
some confused and oblique allusion to the fate of " Mistress Margaret 
Drummond," so fondly loved by James IV., and her two sisters, 
Euphemia Ladv Fleming, and Sybilla, daughters of John, first Lord 
Drnmmond, who were poisoned in 1602. They were interred in a 
vault, and covered with three marble stones, which may still be seen 
in the choir of Dnmblane Cathedral. An entry regarding her, in the 
books of the Lord High Treasurer, records a payment to the priests 
of Edinburgh for a *' Saule-mess for Mergratt, £5." 

1 The Duke of Perth had three dauffhters— 

Elizabeth, Margaret, and fair Marie ; 
And Elizabeth 's to the greenwood gane, 
To pull the rose and the fair lilie. 

2 But she hadna pull'd a rose, a rose, 

A double rose but barely three, 
When up and started a Loudon lord, 
With Loudon hose and Loudon sheen.* 

3 " Will ye be call'd a robber's wife, 

Or will yo be stickit with my bloody knifo, 
For pullin' the rose and the fair lilio, 
For pullin' them sae fair and free?" 

4 " Before I'll be call'd a robber's wife, 

I'll rather be stickit with your bloody knife, 
For pullin' the rose and the fair liUe, 
For pullin' them sae fair and free I" 

5 Then out he 's ta'en his wee penknife, 
And he 's parted her and her sweet lifo ; 
And thrown her o'er a bank of brume. 
Ne'er to be found till the crack of doom.f 

^** London sheen:" L«thian Bho6B.-»ElnIoctL 
t SabBtitnted for— 

"There never more 'pr to he foondf** 

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A repetition of atanzas 1 to 6 inclnsive constitutes stanzas 6 to 10 
inclosiye, merely substitutine in stanza 6 " Margaret's " name in place of 
'* Elizabeth's," as in stanza 1, line 3 ; another repetition of stanzas 1 
to 4 inclusive constitutes stanzas 11 to 14 inclusive, merely substitut- 
ing in that which, if given here, would be stanza 11, the name of the 
thurd sister, Marie or Mary, in place of the "Elizabeth " of stanza 1, 
or the ** Margaret " of stanza 6. The ballad then proceeds, and con- 
cludes as follows : — 

15 But just as he took out his knife, 
To take frae her her ain sweet life, 
Her brother John came riding by, 
And this bloody robber did espy. 

16 But when he saw his sister fair, 
Ho kenn*d her by her yellow hair ; 
Then call'd upon his pages three 
To find this robber speedilie. 

17 " My sisters twa that are dead and gane, 
For whom we made a heavy mane, 

It 'b you that 's twin*d them of their life, 
And with your cruel bloody knife. 

18 " Then for their life ye sair shall dree— 
Te shall be ban git on a tree, 

Or thrown into the poison'd lake, 
To feed the toad and rattlesnake." • 


Versions of this highly popular ballad have appeared in the following 

I. "Gil Morrice," in Percy's Beliques, vol. iii. 
II. "Childe Maurice," from Bishop Percy's Folio AIS.^ ia 
Jamieson's Popular Ballads, vol i., p. 3. 

III. **Chield Morice," from the recitation of an old woman, 

** seventy years of age," who learned it " in her infancy 
from her grandmother." 

IV. " Child Noryce," " verbatim as it was taken down (Januar}', 

1825) from the singing of widow M*Cormick of Paisley." 

* "ThoDgh the ^poisoned lake' seems the fiction of romance, yet history, In her 
record of human cruelty, shows that the use of yenomous animals to Inflict a linger- 
ing and painful death was not unknown In Kitain. The Baxon Chronicle, in detailing 
the cruelties exercised by the Normans upon the Anglo-Saxons, during the reign of 
King Stephen, relates uiat *tbeir squeezed the heads of some with knotted cords, 
till they pierced their brains, while they threw oOiers into dungeons swarming with 
serpents, snakes, and toads/— Henry's Britain, voL yL p. S46. This reminds us 
[also] of the fate of Lodbrog, a Danish king, who was taken prisoner by EUa, King 
of Northumberland, and thrown into a dungeon full of serpents," where ho composed 
" an heroic death-song, in which he laments his fate, and describes his soireriiigB.** 
^Kinloch'B Ancimi ScoUiih BaUadt, p. 218. 

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Both of these two last-named versions appear in Mr. Motherwell's 
Minstrelsy, in which work he also reprints the other versions named, 
prefixing the following Introduction. The different versions are also 
connected by ftirther explanatory matter, the whole extending from 
pages 257 to 286, inclusive, of Mr. Motherwell's work : — 

**0f the many ancient ballads which have been preserved by 
tradition among the peasantry of Scotland, none has excited more 
interest in the world of letters than the beautiful and pathetic tale of 
' Gil Morice;' and this no less on account of its own mtrinsic merits 
as a piece of exquisite poetry, than of ifcs having furnished the plot 
of the justly-cele orated tra^ed^ of Douglas. * It has likewise supplied 
Mr. Langhome with the prmcipal materials from which he has woven 
the fabric-of his sweet though prolix poem of ' Owen of Garron ;' and 
Mr. Jamieson mentions that it has also been ' made the subject of a 
dramatic entertainment with songs, by Mr. Kennie of Aberdeen.' f 
Perhaps the list could be easily increased of those who have drawn 
their inspiration from this affecting strain of olden minstrelsy. 

" If any reliance is to be placed on the traditions of that part of the 
coimtry where the scene of the ballad is laid, we shall be enforced to 
believe that it is founded on facts which occurred at some remote period 
of Scottish history. The * greenwood' of the ballad was the ancient 
forest of Dundaff, m Stirlingshire, and Lord Barnard's Gastle is said to 
have occupied a precipitous cliff overhanging the water of Garron, on 
the lands of Halbertshire. A small bum which joins the Garron, 
about five miles above these lands, is named the Earlsbum, and the 
hill near the source of that stream is called the Earlshill, both deriving 
their appellations, according to the unvarying traditions of the coun- 
try, from the unfortunate Earl's son who is the hero of the ballad. 
He also, according to the same respectable authority, was ' beautiful 
exceedingly,' and especialljr remarkable for the extreme length and ., 
loveliness of his yellow hair, which shrouded him as it were with a 
golden mist. To these floating traditions we are probably indebted 
for the attempts which have been made to improve and embeUish the 
ballad by the mtroduction of various new stanzas since its first appear- 
ance in a printed form. 

" Of the early printed editions of this ballad the editor has been 
unable to procure any copy.t In Percy's JReUques it is mentioned 
that it had run through two editions in Scotland, the second of which 
appeared at Glasgow in 1755, 8vo ; and that to both there was pre- 
fixed an advertisement, setting forth that the preservation of the 

♦ "When this tragedv waa originaUv prodnoed at Edlnbaiyh, In 17M, tho title of 
the heroine was Lady Barnard: the alteration to Lady Bandolph was made on its 
being transplanted to London. It was acted in CoTent Garden in 1767. BioarapMa 
i^oiiMiWca, vol. IL, p. 175."— Motherwell. 

t Popular Ballad* and Son^. Edinburgh, 1808, vol. L, p. 5. 

t" Since writing thja. he hae been kindly favoured, by Mr. David Laing of 
Edinburgh, with an edition which, though it haa neither place, date, nor printer's 
name, may, from its tiUe, be oonridered as the flret Bdinbui^h edition, and printed 
rrobably & 1756. The title is given at length, • GU Morioe, an Ancient Scots Poem. 
The foundation of the tragedy caUed Douglas, as It Is now acted In the Oonoert- 
hall, Canongat&' Except some slight variations in orthography, and in its omitting 
the aizteen additional verses which are mentioned by Bishop Percy as having been 
Bubsequentiy added to the ballad, there is no other material differenoe between this 
edition and tiiat which is reprinted in tiie /Wtyw«."-Moaierwea Between uum 

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poem was owing ' to a lady who favoured the printers with a copy, 
as it was carefully collected from the mouths of old women and 
nurses ;' and requesting ' that any reader who could render it more 
perfect and com|nete would oblis^ethe public with such improvements.' 
This was holding out too tempting a bait not to be greedily snapped 
at by some of those * ingenious iiands ' who have corrupted the 
purity of legendary song in Scotland by manifest forgeries and gross 
impositions. Accordingly, sixteen additional verses soon appeared 
in manuscript, which the editor of the JReliques has inserted m their 
proper places, though he rightly views them in no better light than 
that of an ingenious interpolation. Indeed, the whole ballad of ' Gil 
Morice,' as the writer of the present notice has been politely informed 
by the learned and elegant editor of TIte Border Minstrelsy, under- 
went a total revisal about the period when the tra^y of '' Douglas ' 
was in the zenith of its popularity; and this improved copy, it 
seems, embraced the * ingemous interpolation ' above referred to. 
Independent altogether of this positive information, any one familiar 
with the state in which traditionary poetry has been transmitted to 
the present times, can be at no loss to detect many more ' ingenious 
interpolations,' as well as paraphrastic additions, in the ballad as now 
printed. But though it has been grievously corrupted in this way, 
the most scrupulous inquirer into the authenticity of ancient song 
can have no hesitation in admitting that many of its verses, even aa 
they now stand, are purely traditionary, and &ir and genuine parcels 
of antiquit3r, unalloyed with any base aiamixture of moaem invention, 
and in nowise altered, save in those changes of language to which all 
oral poetry is unavoidably subjected in its progress from one age to 

** In the shape which it now bears, the ballad must be considered 
as one whose text has been formed out of various sets combined by 
the taste, and in all likelihood materially eked out by the invention, 
of the editor of 1755. The worthy and useful class of * old women 
and nurses,' from^ whose mouths it is stated to be carefully taken, / 

has not entirely disappeared ; but it would defy the most unwearied 
and persevering industry to obtain from their lips, in this day, 
any auplicate of the present copy which could, by unexceptionablo 
evidence, be traced to a period anterior to the date of the first 
edition. The scene of wire-drawn recrimination between Lord Bar- 
nard and his lady, which is quite out of keeping with the character 
of the * bold baron,| is of itself quite enough to convince any one 
versant in this species of literature that it has come through the 
refining hands of a modem ballad-wright In this opinion the 
present writer does not stand singular; for both Mr. Kitson and 
Mr. Jamieson agree in rejecting as spurious the stanzas which 
follow after the one beginning — 

* Awa, swai ye ill woman.' 

And the opinion of these critics in such a qneetion is certainly 
entitled to much deference." 

* The possago which follows is a portion ot the ooimsotiiig Unk between the 
,TeTBion (L) reprfaited from Percy's ReliqvtM, and '* Ohleld Morloe ** (IIL), which 
follows it in Motherwell's Minttrtlty, It occurs on page 268.— Editor. 

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Nor did tho tinkering end there, as **8ome miserable yerse-maker " 
took in hand the task of completing the ballad in accordance with 
the final catastrophe of Home's *' Tragedy of Douglas;" which 
"delectable continnation, extending to six stanzas," is here added 
from Mr. Jamieson's notes to "Childe Maurice." — Popular BaUcuis, 
voL i, p. 21. 

Mr. Jamieson states, that these stanzas ** had been handed about 
in" or about Edinburgh, **and found their way into Mr. Heid*a 
MS. collection, from whence they were extracted by Mr. (afterwards 
Sir Walter) Scott," who transmitted them to him. 

He adds, that "they are given to show what dispositions my 
good countrymen, who can forge with address, and who cannot haye 
manifested respsctmg this bidlad." The stanzas referred to are those 
numbered 53 to the end. 

The poet Gray, in one of his letters, writes regarding tliis ballad 
in these terras : — ** I have got the old Scotch ballad on which Douglas 
was founded ; it is divine, and as long as from hence (Cambridge) to 
Aston. Have you never seen it ? Aristotle's best rules are observed 
in it in a manner that shows the author had never read Aristotle. 
It begins in the fifth act of the play (viz., of Home's tragedy of 
Douglas); you may read it two-thirds through without guessing 
what it is about ; and yet, when you come to the end, it is im- 
possible not to understand the whole story." 

It only remains to add, that the text of Percy's Reliques is the one 
here chiefly followed. The absurd orthography of that work is, how- 
ever, discarded. lines 1 and 2 of stanza 2 are added from a chap-book 
version, as noted by Mr. Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. 2G0; while 
stanza 3 is added from a fragment given by Mr. Jamieson (Popular 
Ballads, vol. i., p. 17). Slight verbal changes have been made on 
two of these added lines, and also as noted on the last line of stanza 
4. lines IGO, 161, 169, and 170 of the Jieliques text are omitted, 
the two last bein^ almost a repetition of the first two lines of stanza 
41, the last two hues of which are transposed, as they fonn lines 171 
and 172 of the Beliques toxt, in which they immediatoly precede 
those here numbered stanza 44. 

1 Gil Morice was an earl's son; 

His name it waxed wide ; 
It was nae for his great riches, 
Nor yet his meikle pride. 

2 His face was fair, lang was his hair, 

In greenwood he did bide ; 
But his fame was for a lady gay, 
Tliat lived on Carron side. 

Gil Morice sat in gude greenwood, 
He whistled and ho sang : 

" Where shall I get a bonnie boy 
That will my errand gang? 

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4 '^ Where shall I get a bouuie boy, 

That will win nose and shoon : 
That will gae to Lord Bamard^s hall, 
And tryst his ladye doon ? * 

5 "And ye maun gae my errand, Willio; 

And ye maiin gae with pride ; 
When other boys gae on tneir foot, 
On horseback ye shall ride." 

C " Oh no, oh no, my master dear I 
I dare nae, for my life; 
I'll no gae to the bauld baron's. 
For to tryst forth his wife." 

7 " Mv bird, Willio, my boy, Willie, 

^ly dear Willie," he said ; 
" How can ye strive against the stream? 
For I shall be obey'd." 

8 '* But oh, my master dear," he cried, 

"In greenwood yeVe your lane; 
Gi*o o'er sic thochts, I wou'd ye rede, 
For fear ye should be ta'en. 

9 " Haste, haste, I say, gae to the hall, 

Bid her come here with speed : 
If ye refuse my high command, 
ril gar your body bleed. 

10 " And bid her take this gay mantle — 

'Tis all gowd but the hem,— 
Bid her come to the gude greenwood. 
And bring nane but her lane. 

11 "And there it is a silken sark, • 

Her ain hand sew'd the sleeve; 

And bid her come to Gil Morice — 

Speir nae bauld baron's leave." 

12 " Yes, I will gae your black errand. 

Though it be to your cost; 
Since ye by me will nae be warn'd. 
It 's ye shall find the frost. 

13 " The baron he is a man of might, 

He ne'er cou'd bide to taunt; 

As ye will see before it 's night. 

How small yeha'e to vaunt. 

* *' And bid his hdje cmn."— Percy^a yeraion. 

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14 " And since I maun your errand rin, 

Sae sair against my will, 
Fse make a vow, and keep it trow, 
It shall be done for ill/* 

15 And when he came to broken brig, 

He bent his bow and swam; 
And when he came to ffrass growing, 
Set down his feet and ran. 

IG And when he came to Barnard's hall, 
Wou'd neither chap nor call; 
But set his bent bow to his breast,* 
And lightly lap the wall. 

17 He wou*d nae tell the man bis errand, 

Though he stood at the gate ; 

But straight into the hall he came. 

Where they were sat at meat. 

18 "Hail! hail! my gentle sire and dame! 

My message winna wait; 
Dame, ye maun to the gude greenwood 
Before that it be late. 

19 " Ye're bidden take this gay mantle — 

'Tis all gowd but the hem; 
You maun gae to the gude greenwood. 
E'en by yourBeP alaue. 

20 " And there it is, a silken sark ; 

Your ain hand sew'd the sleeve; 
Ye maun gae speak to Gil Morice, 
Speir nae bauld baron's leave." 

21 The ladye stamjjit with her foot, 

And winkit with her e'e; 
But all that she cou*d say or do. 
Forbidden he wou'dna be. 

22 " It 's surely to my bow'r- woman; 

It ne'er cou'd be to me." 
" I brought it to Lord Barnard's ladye ; 
I trow that ye be she." 

23 Then up and spake the wylie nurse, 

(The bairn upon her knee,) 

" If it be come frae Gil Morice, 

It 's dear welcome to me." 

* ThlB line the stall oopiea glre thns :~ 

Bat bent hlB bow to his white breaat**— HotherwelL 

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24 " Ye lee, ye lee, ye filthy nurse, 

Sae loud I heard ye lee; 
I brought it to Lord Barnard's ladye; 
I trow ye bo nae she." 

25 Then up and spake the bauld baron, 

An angry man was he : 
He 's ta'en the table with his foot, 

Sae has he with his knee, 
Till siller cup and mazer dish • 

In flinders he gar'd flee. 

2G "Gae, bring a robe of your cleiding. 
That hings upon the pin ; 
And I'll gae to the gude greenwood. 
And speak with your leman." 

27 "Oh, bide at hame now, Lord Barnard, 

I redo ye, bide at hame ; 
Ne'er wyte a man for violence, 
Tliat ne'er wat ye with nane." 

28 Gil Morice sat in gude greenwood, 

He whistled and he sang: 
" Oh, what mean all the folk coming? 
My mother tarries lang." 

29 [His hair was like the threads of gold, 

Drawn frae Minerva's loom ; 

His lips like roses drapping dew, 

His breath was all perfume. 

30 His brow was like the mountain snow, 

Gilt by the morning beam; 
His cheeks like living roses glow. 
His een like azure stream. 

81 The boy was clad in robes of green. 

Sweet as the infant spring; 

And like the mavis on Uie bush. 

He gar'd the valleys ring.] 

32 The baron came to the greenwood 
With meikle dule and care; 
And there he first spied Gil Morice, 
Eaiming his yellow hair, 

* "Haaer diah: ** a dtinking cup of maple; other editions read eear.— Perey. 

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83 [That sweetly waved around his face, 
That face beyond compare; 
He sang sac sweet, it might dispel 
All rage but fell despair.] 

S4 " Nae wonder, nae wonder. Gil Morico, 
My ladye lo'ed thee weel; 
The fairest part of my body 
Is blacker than thy heel. 

86 " Yet, nevertheless, now, Gil Morice, 

For all thy great beautie, 
Ye's rue the day ve e'er was born — 
That head shall gae with me." 

3C Now he has drawn his trusty brand, 
And slait it on the strae; 
And through Gil Morice's fair body 
He 's gar'd caiild iron gae. 

87 And he has ta*en Gil Morice's head, 

And set it on a spear; 
The meanest man in all his train 
Has gotten that head to bear. 

38 And he has ta*en Gil Morice up. 

Laid him across his steed, 
And brought him to his painted bowV, 
And laid him on a bed. 

39 The ladye sat on castle wall. 

Beheld baith dale and down; 
And there she saw Gil Morice*s head 
Come trailing to the town. 

40 '* Far better I lo'e that bluidy head, 

Bot and that yellow hair. 
Than Lord Barnard, and all his lands, 
As they lig here and there." 

41 And she has ta'en her Gil Morice, 

And kissed baith mouth aud chin: 
" Oh, better I lo'e my Gil Morice 
Than all my kith and kin I 

42 ** I got ye in my father's house, 

With meikle grief and pain ; 
I brought thee up in ^de greenwood, 
Under the heavy rain. 

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43 *' Oft have I by thy cradio sat, 

And fondly seen theo sleep; 

But now I gae about tby grave, 

The saut tears for to weep." 

44 " Away, away, ye ill woman, 

And an ill death may ye dee : 

If I had kenned he'd been your son. 

He'd ne'er been slain for me." 

45 "Upbraid mc not, my Lord Barnard! 

Upbraid me not, for shame! 
With that same spear, oh, pierce my heart, 
And put me out of pain ! 

46 *' Since nothing but Gil Morice's head 

Thy jealous rage cou'd quell, 
Lot that same hand now take her life 
That ne'er to thee did ill. 

47 "To mc nao after-days nor nights 

Will e'er be saft and kind; 

ril fill the air with heavy sighs, 

And greet till I am blind." 

48 " Enough of blood by me 's been spilt ; 

Seek not your death frae me; 
I'd lever lourd* it had been myseP 
Than either him or thee. 

40 "With waeful heart I hear your plaint; 
Sair, sair I rue the deed, 
That e'er this cursed hand of mine 
Had gar'd his body bleed. 

60 " Dry up your tears, my winsome dame, 
Ye ne'er can heal his wound; 
Ye see his head upon the spear. 
His heart's bluid on the ground. 

51 "I curse the hand that did the deed. 

The heart that thought the ill; 
The feet that bore me with sic speed, 
The comely youth to kill. 

52 " I'll aye lament for Gil Morice, 

As if he were mine ain; 
I'll ne'er forget the dreary day 
On which the youth was slain." 

♦ " JiCTer lourd : " rattier by for, 

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53 [She heard him speak, but fell despair 
Sat rooted in her heart; 
She heard him, and she heard nae mair, 
Though sair she rued the smart. 

51 Fast to the steep high craig she ran, 
That o'er the water hung: 
" I come, I come, dear Gil Morice I " 
And down herself she flung. 

55 Syne word came to Lord Barnard's hall: 
"Fye, fye! gar run with speed; 
My ladye o'er the craig did fall; 
1 fear ere this she 's dead." 

50 " 'Twas me, 'twas me that kill'd the dame; 
'Twas me Gil Morice slew: 
Oh, how I've blasted all mv fame. 
And all my honour true 1 

57 " But soon, soon will I make amends : 

My horse gar saddle swift; 
Farewell, farewell, my merry men ! " 
And off he flew like drift. 

58 He came where Scotland's valiant sous 

Their fierce invaders fought; 
Among the thickest fight he runs, 
And meets the death he sought.] 


The existence of " this bold outlaw " has been called in question 
by some recent writers, whose ^dews on the subject are adopted and 
propounded by Professor Child, in his Robin Hood collection, {English 
ana ScottUh BaUdds, voL v. ) The discussion of this question belongs, 
however, rather to the English than to the Scotish circle of these 

It is, nevertheless, proper to state here, that ** Robin Hood, with Little 
John, and their accomplices," are mentioned by Wyntoun in his 
Scottish ChronykU, under the year a.T). 1283 ; by Fordun or Bower, 
in the Scotichranicon, under a.d. 1266 ; and bv Mair, in his Historia 
Majoria BrittanicB, under the reign of Ricnard the First (a.i>. 

" A Gest of Robyn Hodo " formed one of a series of chap-books 
" of popular poetry,'* printed at Edinburph, " by Walter Chapman 
and Androw Myllar, in the year MD VIIL^' * 

• A Tolnme of those issues, believed with good reason to be unique^ is fortonately 
preserred In the Adyocatoa' Library; and it has been admii-ably roprodaced in/ac 
timile, ** under the careTol BQporYi«iQ& of Mr. DftTid Lolog." Sombargh, 1827. 

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•• The appearance of which long ballad," says Mr. Motherwell, ** is 
not only- an additional proof o^ the high popnlarity of that bold 
outlaw in Scotland, but goes to establish the fact, that the celebrity 
of his name in sons was not sdone owing to the cari)ing of England s 
minstrels, but to the equal labours of northern gleemen. It is not 
meant, however, to claim this ' Gest ' as a Scottish production, though 
there certainly is some ground to do so ; its appearance in Scotland 
preceding its imprint^ by Wynkin de Worde, by some years. Be- 
tween the Scottish and Enslish imi)ression there occurs no diiference, 
save in a few orthographical points.** — Minatrelsy, Introduction, 
p. Ivi. 

"Robin Hood," says Mr. Eliuloch, "was ancientlv celebrated in 
Scotland by an annual play or festival ; and the following extract, 
while it shows the estimation in which this festival was regarded by 
the populace, displays at the same time their lawless conduct, and the 
wealmess of the civil power, in the city of Edinburgh in the sixteenth 
century : — ' The game of Robin Hood was celebrated in the month 
of May. The r)opulace assembled previous to the celebration of this 
festival, and chose some respectable member of the corporation to 
officiate in the character of Robin Hood^ and another in that of Little 
John, his souire. Upon the daj^ ap]3ointed, which was a Sunday or 
a holiday, tne people assembled in military array, and went to some 
adjoining field, where, either as actors or spectators, the whole 
inhabitants of the respective towns were convened. In this field 
they probably, amused themselves with a representation of Robin 
Hood s predatory exploits, or of his encounters with the officers of 
justice. As numerous meetings for disorderly mirth are apt to 
engender tumult, when the minds of the people came to be agitated 
with religious controversy, it was found necessary to repress the game . 
of Robin Hood b^ pubhc statute. The populace were by no means 
willing to relinquish their fi^vourite amusement. Year after year the 
magistrates of Edinburgh were oblij^ed tp exert their authority in 
repressing this game, often ineffectually. In the year 1561, the mob 
were so enraged in bein^ disappointed in making a Robin Hood, that 
they rose in mutiny, seized on the city gates, committed robberies 
upon strangers ; and one of the ringleaders hems condemned by the 
magistrates to bo hanged, the mob forced open the jail, set at liberty 
the criminal and all the prisoners, and broke in pieces the gibbet 
erected at the cross for executing the malefactor. They next assaulted 
the magistrates, who were sittuig in the council chamber, and who 
fled to the tolbooth for shelter, where the mob attacked them, 
battering the doors, and pouring stones through the windows. 
Application was made to the deacons of the corporations to appease 
the tumult. Remaining, however, unconcerned spectators, they maclo 
this answer : — They wilt be magitlraU9 alone : let them rule tlie multi- 
tude alone. The magistrates were kept in confinement till they made 
E reclamation be published, offering indemnity to the rioters upon 
lying down their arms. Still, however, so late as the ^ear 1592, 
we find the General Assembly complaining of the profanation of the 
Sabbath, by making of Robin Hood plays,' — Arnot's Hiatory of 
Ediidmrghy ch. iL" 

The fame of this illustiious outlaw, or mytliic hero, "and his 

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merry men/* which had all bat died out ia Scotland, has been azain 
revived and extended by, and since, the publication of Sir Walter 
Scott^s Ivanhoe, 

With regard to the ballad which follows, and the one which comes 
next in order, Professor Child remarks, that ** in character they have 
no affinity with the recognized circle of Robin Hood ballads. The 
story is of a more ancient cast, and also of a type common to the 
northern nations ; and we have no doubt that Boom Hood and Little 
John were, in the day of their popularity, made to displace heroes 
of immemorial prescription, in order to sive edal to an old tale." — 
Eitgliak and Scottish Ballads, vol. y., p. 173. 

The editor of the present work has much pleasure in quoting these 
words of Professor Child, as they so admirably express, m the 
language of an American of ability and imparti^Jity, ideas which he 
had independently arrived at ; but which, if expressed by a Scotsman, 
woidd certainly expose him to the vituperative abuse of some shallow 
and conceited English critic ; a class as full of narrow and ignorant 
prejudice— particularly about and against everything Scotish — as an 
egg is full of meat. 

The grounds for the xdews expressed by Professor Child, and here 
coincided in, mav bo found by consulting the precedinsc ballads, — 
''Leesome Brano," n. 59; '*£arl Douglas and Dame Oliphant," p. 
63 ; and ** Sweet Willie and Fair Janet," p. 67, with their respective 

Of the ballad which follows, two versions have appeared, both 
under the same title as the above. 

I. In Jamieson^s Popular Ballads^ vol. ii., p. 44, as "taken 
down by the editor from the recitation of Mrs. Brown, 
and given," by him, " without the alteration of a single 
II. In Buchan's Ancient Ballads, vol. ii., p. 1. 

The first five and the last two stanzas of the text which follows 
are taken from Mr. JamiesoD's version, the intermediate stanzas 
being chiefly from Mr. Buchan^s version. 

Stanza 5, as here given from Mr. Jamieson^s version, is similar to 
stanza 14 of "Earl Douglas and Dame Oliphant," while the three 
which follow it evidently narrate the same incident as that described 
in stanzas 17 and 18 of uio samo ballad. The three stanzas referred 
to run— 

" ' Bat yell come to my bowV, Willie, 
Jast as the exm gaea down; 
And kep me in your arms twa, 
And letna me fa' down.* 

And there, by the lee licht o* the moon. 
Her window she lookit o*er. 

*'Intil a robe o* red scarlet 
She lap, foariess o' harm ; 
And Wime was larse o* lith and llmb^ 

" Oh, vhen the son was now gano down. 
He *8 done him till her bow'r ; 
' nd there, by the lee licht o* t' 
Her window she lookit o*er. 

itil a robe o* red scarlet 
She lap, fearless o' harm; 
nd Wiule was larse o* lith ax 
And kepit her In his arpn." 

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1 Oh, Willie's large of limb and litli, 

And come of high degree; 

And he is ganc to Earl Richard, 

To serve for meat and fee. 

2 Earl Richard had but ae daughter, 

Fair as a lily flower; 
And they made up their love-contract, 
Like proper paramour. 

3 It fell upon a summer's night, 

When leaves were fair and green. 
That Willie met his gay ladyo, 
Intil the woods alane. 

4 " Oh, narrow is my gown, Willie, 

That wont to bo sae wide ; 

And gane is all my fair colour, 

That wont to bo my pride. 

5 *' But if my father sliou'd get word 

What 's passM between us twa, 

Before that he should eat or drink. 

He'd hang you o'er that wa\'' 

C '• Will ye gae to my mother's bow'r, 
Stands on yon stately green? 
Or will ye bide in gude greenwood, 
Where ye will not bo seen?" 

7 She chose to bide in gude greenwood, 

Sae on they walk'd miles three; 
When this ladyo, being sair worn out, 
Lay down beneath a tree. 

8 *' Oh, for a few of yon junipers. 

To cheer my heart again; 
And likewise for a gude midwife. 
To ease me of my pain." 

9 " I'll bring to you yon junipers, 

To cheer your heart again ; 
And I'll be to you a gude midwife, 
To ease you of your pain." 

10 " Hand far awa frae me, WUlie, 
For sac it maunna be ; 
That 's nae the fashion of our land; 
3ae baud awa frae mc. 

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11 " Ye'll take your small sword by your side, 

Your buckler and your bow, 
And ye'U gae down thro* gude greenwood, 
To hunt the deer and roe. 

12 " And you will stay in gude greenwood, 

And with the chase go on, 
Until a white hind pass you by; 
Then straight to me you*ll come." 

13 He *B girt his sword then by his side, 

Ta^en buckler and ta*en bow; 
And he is on thro^ gude greenwood, 
To hunt the deer and roe. 

14 And in the greenwood he did stay. 

And there the chase he plied, 
Until a white hind pass'd him by; 
Then to his love ne hied. 

16 And there ho found her lying dead, 

Beneath the green oak tree ; 
But a sweet young son that she had born. 

Right lively seem'd to be. 
" Alas, alas!'^ young Willie said, 

" A mournful scene to me! 

16 " Altho' my sweet babe is alive, 

It but adds to my woe; 
For how to nourish this poor babe, 
Is more than I do know." 

17 He look'd east, and ho looked west. 

To see what he could see; 
Then spied Earl Richard of Huntingdon, 
With a goodly companie. 

18 Then Willie fled, and hid himself 

Amang the leaves sae green, 
That he might hear what might be said. 
And see, yet nao be seen. 

19 For Earl Richard had dream'd a dream 

About his daughter dear ; 
He started wildly from his sleep. 
And sought her far and near. 

20 They sought her back, they sought her fore. 

They sought her up and down ; 
Till they found her dead in gudo greenwood, 
Beside her new-born son. 

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21 Earl Richard took np the bonnie boy, 

And kisB'd him tenderly; 
Says — " Tho* I would your father hang, 
Your mother was dear to me. 

22 " And if ye live until I die, 

My bowVs and lands you'll heir : 
You are my only daughter's child, 
But her I ne'er had mair." 

23 His daughter he buried in gude churchyard, 

In a dreary mournful mood ; 
And he brought the boy to church that day, 
And christen'd him Robin Hood 

24 This boy was bred in the earl's halls, 

Till he a man became ; 
But lov'd to hunt in gude greenwood, 
To raise his noble fame. 

25 There 's mony ane sings of grass, of grass, 

And mony ane sings of com ; 
And mony ane sings of Robin Hood, 
Kens little where he was born ! 

26 It wasna in the gilded hall. 

Nor in the painted bow'r ; 
But it was in the gude greenwood, 
Amang the lily flower. 


Of this ballad three versions have been published : — 

I. In Scott's Minstrelsy, voL iiL, p. 208, "chiefly from Mrs. 
Brown's MS." The name of Robin Hood does not occur in 
this version ; but Sir Walter surmised that it "oridnally 
related to" him, **a8 mention is made of Baruisdale, lii^ 
favourite abode." 

IL In Kinloch's Ancient ScoUish BaUada, p. 69. 

IIL In Buchan's Ancient Ballads, voL i, p. 67* 

Scott's and Buchan's versions are published under the same title 
as the above, and Kinloch's under the title of **The Wedding of 
Robin Hood and Little John." Stanzas 1 to 26 inclusive, as here 
printed, are collated from versions I. and UL, the remaining stanzas 
bein^; from the former. 

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1 Now word is gane through all the land — 

Gude seile that it sae spread! — 
To Rose the Red and White Lily, 
Their mother dear was dead. 

2 Their father 's married a bauld woman, 

And brought her o'er the sea; 
Twa sprightly youths, her ain young sons, 
Intil her companie. 

3 And they were twa as gallant youths 

As ever brake man's bread ; 
And the ane of them lo'ed her, White Lily, 
And the other, Rose the Rod. 

4 They fix'd their eyes on those ladyes. 

On shipboard as they stood, 
And sware, if e'er they wan to land. 
These ladyes they wou'd wed. 

5 But there was nae a quarter pass'd, 

A quarter pass'd but three, 
Till these young lovers all were fond 
Of other's companie. 

G Oh, bigg'd ha'e they a bigly bow'r 
Fast by the sea-beat strand; 
And there was mair mirth that bow'r within. 
Than in all their father's, land. 

7 The knights they harpit in their bow'r, 

The ladyes sew'd and sang; 
The mirth that was in that chamber 
Through all the place it rang. 

8 Then out it spake their step-mother ; 

At the bigly bow'r stood she : 
" I'm sair plagu'd with your troublesome noise, 
That ye call melodie. 

9 "0 Rose the Red, ye sing too loud. 

While, Lily, your voice is Strang; 
But if I live and brook my life, 
I'se gar ye change your sang." 

10 "We maunna change our loud, loud sang, 
That sae our hearts doth cheer; 
We winna change our loud, loud sang, 
But aye we'll sing the mair. 

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11 " We never eung the sang, mother, 

But we'll sing o'er again ; 
We'll take our harpa into our hands. 
And sing with might and main." 

12 She 's caird upon her oldest son : 

" Come here, my son, to me ; 
It fears me sair, my Bauld Arthur, 
That ye maun sail the sea." 

13 *^ If sae it maun be, mv dear mother. 

At your bidding I shall be; 
But never be waur to Rose the Bed 
Than ye ha'o been to me." 

14 She 's calPd upon her youngest son : 

" Come here, my son, to me ; 
It fears me sair, my^ Brown Robin, 
That ye maun sail the sea." 

15 " If it fear ye sair, my mother dear, 

At your bidding I shall be; 
But never be waur to White Lily 
. Than yc ha'e been to me." 

10 " Now, baud your tongues, ye foolish boys, 
For small shall be their part; 
They ne'er again shall see your face, 
Though their very hearts shou'd break. 

17 *^ Make haste, make haste, my twa young sons. 

And boun' ye for the soa; 
But Rose the Red and White Lily 
-Shall stay in bow'r with me." 

18 "0 God forbid," said her eldest son, 

" That we shou'd cross the sea. 
Unless ye be to our twa loves 
As ye to them shou'd be." 

19 " Yet, nevertheless, my pretty sons, 

Ye'll boun' ye for the faem; 
Let Rose the Red and White Lily 
Stay in their bow'r at hame." 

20 ^' Oh, when with you we came alang, 

We felt the stormy sea; 
But we shall now go where we list| 
Nor speiir $he leaye of thee,"' 

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21 Then with her harsh and boist'rous words, 

She forced these lads away; 
While Rose the Red and White Lily 
Still in their bow'rs did stay. 

22 Her twa sons hied to the king's court, 

His chamberlains to be; 
But Brown Robin has slain a knight, 
And to greenwood did flee. 

23 When Rose the Red and White Lily 

Saw their twa loves were gane, 
Sune did they drop the loud, loud sang, 
And dowilly did maen. 

21 And there was not a quarter passed, 
A quarter pass'd but ane. 
Till Rose the Red in rags she ^aed, 
While Lily's claithes grew thin. 

25 With bitter usage, every day 

The ladyes they thought lang; 
<< Alasl alas! " said Rose the Red, 
' " She 's gar'd us change our sang." 

26 And out then spake her. White Lily; 

" My sister, we'll be gane: 
Why shou'd we stay in Bamisdale, 
To mourn our bow'r within ? " 

27 Oh. cutted ha'e they their green claithing, 

A little abune their knee; 
And sae ha'e they their yellow hair, 
A little abune their bree. 

28 And left ha'e they that bonnie bow'r. 

To cross the raging sea; 
And they ha'e gane to a holy chapel 
Was christened by Our Ladye. 

29 And they ha'e changed their twa names, 

Sae far frae ony toun; 
And the ane of them's hight Sweet Willie, 
And the other Rouge the Ronnde. 

80 Between the twa a promise is, 
They ha'e sworn it to fulfil; 
Whenever the ane blew a bugIe-horn| 
ThQ other shou'd oome her tiU< 

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31 Sweet Willie 's gane to the king's court, 

Her true love for to see; 
And Rouge the Rounde to gude greenwood, 
Brown Robin^s man to be, 

32 Oh, it fell ance upon a time. 

They putted at the stane; 
And seven foot ayont them all, 
Brown Robin's gar'd it gang. 

83 She lifted the heavy putting-stane, 

And gave a sad ** OhonI" 
Then oat bespake him, Brown Robin, 
" But that 's a woman's moan I" 

84 " Oh, kenn'd ye by my rosy lips, 

Or by my yellow hair ; 
Or kenn'd ye by my milk-white breast. 
Ye never yet saw bare?" 

35 "I kenn'd na by your rosjr lips. 
Nor by your yellow hair; 
But, come to your bow'r whaever likes, 
TheyOl find a ladye there." 

86 " Oh, if ye come my bow'r within. 
Through fraud, deceit, or guile. 
With this same brand, that *8 in my hand, 
I vow I will thee kill." 

37 " Yet durst I come into your bow'r, 

And ask nae leave," quo' he; 
" And with this brand, that 's in my hand, 
Wave danger back on thee." 

38 About the dead hour of the night. 

The ladye's bow'r was broken; 
And, about the first hour of the day. 
The fair knave bairn was gotten. 

39 When days were gane and months were come, 

The ladye was sad and wan; 
And aye she cried for a bow'r-woman, 
For to wait her upon. 

40 Then up and spake him, Brown Robin, 

" And what needs this ? " quo' he; 
" Or what can woman do for yon, 
That coiuM be done by mo r '* 

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41 " 'Twas never my mother's fashion," she said, 

" Nor shall it e'er be mine, 
That belted knights should e'er remain 
While ladyes dree'd their pine. 

42 " But if ye take that bugle-horn, 

And wind a blast sao shrill, 

I ha'e a brother in 3'onder court, 

Will come me quickly till." 

43 " Oh, if ye ha'e a brother on earth 

That ye lo'e mair than me, 
Ye may blow the horn yoursel'," ho says, 
" For a blast I winna gi*e." 

41 She 's ta'en the bugle in her hand, 
And blawn baith loud and shrill ; 
Sweet William started at the sound, 
And came her quickly till. 

45 Oh, up then starts him, Brown Robin, 
And swore by Our Ladyo, 
" No man shall come into this bowV, 
But first maun fight with me." 

4.G Oh, thev ha'o fought the wood within, 
Till tne sun was going down ; 
And drops of blood, frae Hose the Red, 
Came pouring to the ground. 

47 She leant her back against an aik, 

Said— "Robin, let me be; 
For it is a ladye bred and born, 
Has fought this day with thee." 

48 Oh, seven foot ho started back. 

Cried — " Alas and woe is me I 
For I wished never, in all my life, 
A woman's bluid to sec : 

49 " And that all lor the knightly vow 

I swore to Our Ladye; 
But mair for the sake of ac fair maid, 
Whose name was White Lily." 

50 Then out and spake her, Rouge the Rounde, 

And leugh right heartilie : 
" She has been with ^e this year and mair, 
Though ye wistuft it was she," 

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61 Now word haB gane throagh all the land, 

Before a month was gane, 
That a forester's page, in gude greenwood, 
Had bom a bonnie son. 

62 The maryel gaed to the king*s court, 

And to the king himser; 
" Now, by my fae," the king did say, 
" The like was never heard tell ! " 

63 Then out and spake him, Bauld Arthur, 

And laughed right loud and hie : 
" I trow some May has plaid the loon,* 
And fled her ain countrie." 

64 " Bring me my steed," the king *gan say; 

" My bow and arrows keen; 
And 1 11 gae hunt in yonder wood. 
And see what 's to be seen." 

65 *• If it please your grace," quo' Bauld Arthur, 

**My liege. Til gang with thee; 
And seek tlierc for a bonnie page. 
That 's stray'd awa frae me." 

6G And they ha'e chased in gudc greenwood. 
The buck but and the rae, 
Till they drew near Brown Kobin's bowV, 
About the close of day. 

67 Then out and spake the king himseP, 
Says—" Arthur, look and see. 
If yon be not your favourite page 
That leans against yon tree ?^' 

58 Oh, Arthur's ta'en a bugle-horn. 

And blawn a blast sae shrill ; 
Sweet Willie started to her feet, 
And ran him quickly till. 

59 " Oh, wanted ye your meat, Willie, 

Or wanted ye your fee ; 
Or gat ye e'er an angry word, 
That ye ran awa frae me?" 

CO " I wanted nought, my master dear, — 
To me ye aye was good; 
I came to see my ae brother, 
Tl^at wons in this greenwood." 

♦ "loon:" rogoo. 

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61 Then out bespake the king again, — 

** My boy, now tell to me. 
Who dwells into yon bigly dowV, • 
Beneath yon green aik tree ? " 

62 " Oh, pardon me," said Sweet Willie, 

" My liege, I darena tell ; 
And gangna near yon outlaw's bow'r, 
For fear they should you kiU." 

63 " Oh, hand your ton^e, my bonnie boy. 

For I winna be said nay; 
But I will gang yon bow'r within, 
Betide me weal or wae." 

64 They have lighted frao their milk-white steeds, 

And saftlie entered in; 
And there they saw her, White Lily, 
Nursing her bonnie young son. 

65 "Now, by the mass," the king he said, 

" This is a comely sight ; 
I trow, instead of a forester's man, 
This 18 a ladye bright 1 " 

66 Oh, out and spake her. Rose the Red, 

And fell low on her knee : 
" Oh, pardon us, my gracious liege. 
Ana our story I'U tell thee. 

67 " Our father is a wealthy lord, 

Lives into Barnisdale ; 
But we had a wicked step-mother. 
That wrought us meiklo bayle. 

C'3 " Yet had she twa as full fair sons, 
As e'er the sun did see; 
The ane of them lo'ed my sister dear, 
The other said he lo'ed me." 

69 Then out and cried him, Bauld Arthur 

As by the king he stood : 
"Now, by the faith of my body, 
This shou'd be Rose the Red I " 

70 The kin^ has sent for robes of green. 

And girdles of shining gold ; 
Aud sune the ladyes busked tiiemselvcs, 
Sae glorious to behold. 

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71 Then in and came him, Brown Rohin, 

Frae hunting of the deer ; 
But when he saw the king himseP, 
Ho started back for fear. 

72 The king has ta'en Robin by tho hand, 

And bade him nothing dread ; 
But quit for aye the gude ^eenwood, 
And come to the court with speed. 

73 The king has ta'en White Lily's son, 

And set him on his knee ; 
Says — " If ye live to wield a brand, 
My bowman thou shall be." 

74 Then they have gane to holy chapel, 

And there had fair wedding ; 
And when they came to the king's court, 
For joy the bells did ring. 


The following ballad has been collated from one of the same name, 
which appears in Scott's Minstrelsy, voL iii, p. 104, and from one 
entitled, " May-a-Row," given by Bnchan in Ancient BaUads, vol. ii., 
p. 231. Mr. Motherwell mentions another version, "diifermg in a 
few immaterial points " from Scott's, which he had " heard xmder the 
title of *Hynde Henry and May Margerie.' " 

With reference to the first-named version, Sir Walter Scott states, 
that it *'is published from tradition, with some conjectural emenda- 
tions," and "corrected by a copy in Mrs. Brown's MS., from which 
it differs in the concluoung stanzas. Some verses are apparently 

" Jellon seems to be the same name with Jyllian or Julian. 'Jyl 
of Brentford's Testament' is mentioned in Warton's History of 
Poetry, voL ii., p. 4(). The name repeatedly occurs in old ballads, 
sometimes as that of a man, at other times as that of a woman. Of 
the former is an instance in the ballad of 'The Knight and the Shep- 
herd's Daughter.' — Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. Iii., p. 72 :— 

' Some do call mo Jack, sweetheart, 
And some do call me JiUe.* 

'* Witton Gilbert, a village four miles west of Durham, is, through- 
out the bishopric, pronounced Witton Jilbert. We have also tne 
common name of Giles, always in Scotland pronounced Jill. For 
Gille, or Juliana, as a female name, we have Fair Gillian of Croydon, 
and a thousand authorities. Such being the case, the editor must 
enter his protest against the conversion of OH Morrice into ChUti 

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Maurice, an epithet of cliivalry. All the circnmBtances in that ballad 
argue, that the unfortunate hero was an obscure and very young man, 
who had never received the honour of knighthood. At any rate, 
there can be no reason, even were internal evidence totally wanting; 
for altering a well-known proper name, which, till of late yearn, has 
been the imiform title of the ballad." 

From the first portion of the above extract we are led to infer 
that Mr. B ichan's is the more genuine text of the two. Stanzas 5 to 
7 inclusive, 10, 13 to 15 inclusive, 17, 18, and 28 to 30 inclusive, are 
from Mr. Buchan^s version — the remaining 18 stanzas being from Sir 
Walter Scott^s. 

The ballad seems to have some connection with the Scotish Robin 
Hood series. 

1 Oh^ Jellon Grame sat in Silverwood ; * 

He sharp'd his broadsword lang ; 
And he has calPd his little foot-pago, 
An errand for to gang. 

2 " Win lip, my bonnie boy,** he says, 

" As quickly as ye may; 
For ye maun gang for Lily Flower, 
Before the break of day.** 

8 The boy has bucklod his bolt about, 
And through the greenwood ran j 
And he camo to tbe ladye's bow*r, 
Before the day did dawn. 

4 " Oh, sleep ye, wake ye, Lily Flower? 

The red sun's on the rain : 
Yo*re bidden como to Silverwood ; 
But I doubt ye*ll never win liame.** 

5 Fair Lily Flower lap on her steed, 

And quickly rado away ; 
She hadna ridden but half a mile, 
Till a warning voice did say, — 

C ** Turn back, turn back, ye vcnt*rous maid, 
Nao farther must ye go ; 
For the boy who leads your bridle rein 
Leads you to your o*erthrow.'* 

* Silrcnvood, meutlonod In this ballad, occors In a modley MS. song, which aoema 
to bavo been copied from the flret edition of the Aberdeen cantms pene$ John Q. 
Dalyell, Esq., advoi'-ate. One lino only is cited, apparently the beginning of q^me 

** Sllvenrood, gin ye were mine," 

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7 Yet all these words she ne'er did mind, 

But fast away did ride ; 
And the little boy wha came for her, 
He ran fast by her side. 

8 She hadna ridden a mile, a mile, 

A mile but barely three, 
Ere she came to a new-made grave, 
Beneath a green aik tree. 

9 Oh, lip then started Jellon Gramo, 

Out of a bush thereby : 
" Light down, light down now, Lily Flower, 
For it 's here that ye maun lye. 

10 " Light down, light down now, Lily Flower, 

For by my hand ye'se dee ; 
Ye married my brother, Brown Robin, 
When ye shou'd ha'e married me." 

1 1 She lighted aff her milk-white steed. 

And kneeVd upon her knee : 
" Oh, mercy, mercy, Jellon Grame, 
For I'm no prepared to dee ! 

12 " The bairn that stirs between my sides 

Maun shortly see the light ; 
But to see it weltering in my blood, 
Would bo a piteous sight. 

13 "Oh, mercy, mercy, Jellon Grame ! 

Until I lighter be, 
Ila'e mercy on your brother's bairn, 
Tho' ye ha'e nane for me." 

14 ** Nae mercy is for thee, ladye, 

Nae mercy is for thee; 
Such mercy unto you I'll gi'o 
As what ye ga'e to me.' 

15 Then he 's ta'en out a trusty brand, 

And strok'd it o'er the strae ; 
And thro' and thro' her fair body 
He 's gar'd cauld iron gae. 

16 He felt nae pity for Lily Flower, 

Where she was lying dead ; 
But he felt some for the bonnie bairn 
Lay weltering in her bluid, 

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17 Thenhe'sta'en up the bonnie bairn, 

Handled him tenderly; 
And said — " Ye are of mj ain kin, 
Tho' your mother ill-used me.** 

18 He *s washen him at the crystal stream, 

And row*d him in a weed; 
And named him after a bold robber, 
Who was caird Robin Hood. 

19 Up has he ta'en that bonnie boy, 

Given him to nurses nine : 
Three to sleep, and three to wake. 
And three to go between. 

20 And he bred up that bonnie boy, 

Caird him his sister's son ; 
And he thought no eye cou*d ever see 
The deed that he had done. 

21 But so it fell upon a day, 

•They ranged the greenwood free, 
And rested them at Silverwood, 
Beneath that green aik tree. 

22 And many were the greenwood flowers 

Upon that grave that grew ; 
And marvell'd much that bonnie boy 
To see their lovely hue. 

23 ** What's paler than the primrose wan? 

What 's redder than the rose ? 
What *s fairer than the lily flower 
On this wee knowe* that grows?" 

24 Oh, out and answer'd Jellon Gramc, 

And he spake hastily : 
" Your mother was a fairer flower. 
And lies beneath this tree. 

25 " More pale was she, when she sought my grace, 

Than primrose pale and wan ; 
And redder than rose her ruddy heart's blood, 
That down my broadsword ran." 

26 With that the boy has bent his bow. 

It was baith stout and lang ; 
And thro' and thro' him, Jellon Grame, 
He gar'd an arrow gang. 

• '♦ Wee loiowo; " UtUo hiUock. 

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27 Says—" Lye ye there, now, Jellon Gramet 

My malison gang you wi'I 
The place that my mother lyes buried in 
Is far too good for thee." 

28 These news ha'e gaen thro' Stirling town, 

Likewise thro* Huntin-hall ; 
At last it reached the king's own court, 
Amang his nobles all. 

29 And when the king got word of it, 

A light laugh then ga'e he ; 
And he has sent for little Robin 
To come right speedilie. 

SO He 's put on little Robin*s head 
A ribbon and gowden crown. 
And made him one of his foremost knights, 
For the valour he had done. 


From Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iii, p. 169. 

** There is," says Sir Walter Scott, *' a copy of this ballad in Mrs. 
Brown^s collection. The editor has seen one, printed on a single 
sheet. The epithet ' Smith ' implies, prdbably, the somame, not tne 
profession, of the hero, who seems to have lieen an outlaw. There 
18, however, in Mrs. Brown's copy, a verse of little merit, hero 
omitted, alluding to the implements of that occupation. *' 

1 Oh, wha wou'd wish the wind to blaw, 

Or the green leaves fall therewith? 
Or wha wou'd wish a lealer love 
Than Brown Adam the Smith? 

2 But they ha'e banish'd him, Brown Adam, 

Frae father and frae mother; 
And the;^ ha'e banish'd him, Brown Adam, 
Frae sister and frae brother. 

3 And they ha'e banish'd him, Brown Adam, 

The flow'r of all his kin ; 
And he 's bigged a bow'r in gude greenwood 
Atween his ladye and him. 

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4 It fell upon a summer's day, 

Brown Adam he thought lang; 
And, for to hunt some venison, 
To greenwood he wou'd gang. 

5 He has ta'en his bow his arm o'er, 

His bolts and arrows lang; 
And he is to the gude greenwood 
As fast as he cou'd gang. 

r> Oh, ho 's shot up, and he 's shot down, 
The bird upon the brier. 
And ho sent it hame to his ladye, 
Bade her be of good cheer. 

7 Oh, he 's shot up, and he 's shot down, 

The bird upon the thorn. 
And sent it hame to his ladye. 
Said he'd be hame the morn. 

8 When he came to his ladyo's bow'r-door. 

He stood a little forbye. 
And there he heard a fou' fause knight 
Tempting his gay ladye. 

9 For he 's ta'en out a gay gowd ring, 

Had cost him many a poun': 
" Oil, grant me love for love, ladye, 
And this shall be thy own." 

10 " I lo'o Brown Adam w^eeJ," she said ; 

"I trow sao does he me; 
I wou'dna gi'o Brown Adam's love 
For nae fauso knight I see." 

11 Out has he ta'en a purse of gowd. 

Was all fu' to the string : 
" Oh, grant me love for love, ladye, 
And all this shall be thine." 

12 *' I lo'e Brown Adam weel," she says ; 

" I wot sae does he me ; 
I wou'dna be your light leman. 
For mair than ye cou'd gi'e." 

13 Then out he drew his lang, bright brand, 

And flash'd it in her e'en: 
" Now. grant me love for love, ladye. 

Or tnrough ye this shall gang I" 
Then, sighing, says that ladye fair, 

** Brown Adam tarries lan^I" 

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11 Then in and starts him, Brown Adam ; 
Says — " I am just at hand." 

Ho*B gar'd him leave his bonnie bow, 
He 's gar'd him leave his brand, 

He 's gar'd him leave a dearer pledge- 
Four fingers of his right hand. 


From Buchan'B Ancient BaUadSy vol. i., p. 110. Slightly emendated, 
and three lines within brackets sabstituted in place of others. 

This ballad is clearly medisevaL This Scotish Jonah was no way 
connected with, although bearing the same appellation as that of the 
hero of another ballad, entitled "Brown Booyn and Mally," which 
appears in the same collection, vol. ii., p. 299. 

The latter was not such a monster of iniquity, but is only accused of 
the venial sin of eloping with his master's daughter, while the ballad 
ends happily, and to the entire satisfaction of all parties. 

1 It fell upon a Woden sday, 

Brown Robyn's men went to sea; 
But they saw neither moon nor sun, 
Nor Btar-light blink on hie. 

2 '* We'll cast kovils us amang, 

See wha the unhappy man may bo;'* 
The kevil fell on Brown Robyn, 
The master man was he. 

3 " It is nae wonder," said Brown Robyn, 

*' Altho' I dinna thrive ; 
[For a greater sinner than I ha'e bcco, 
There is not man alive.] 

4 *' But tie mo to a plank of wood, 

And throw me in the sea; 
And if I sink, ye may bid me sink, 
And e'en just let me be." 

6 They've tied him to a plank of wood, 
And thrown him in the sea; 
He did not sink, tho' they bade him sink; 
lie swam, and they let him be. 

C lie hadna been into the sea, 
An hour but barely three, 
Till by it came our bless'd Ladye, 
Her dear young Son her wi'. 

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" Will ye gang to your men again? 

Or will ye gang with me? 
Will ye gang to the heavens high, 

With my dear Son and me?" 

" I winna gang to my men again. 

For they wou'd be fear'd at me; 
But I wou'd gang to the high heav'ns, 

With thy dear Son and thee." 

[" Your prayer shall granted be, Brown RobynJ 

For nae honour ye did me; 
But it is all for the fair confession 

You made upon the sea." 

From Einloch*s Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 123. 

Mr. Motherwell is ''inclined to think this is an Irish ballad, 
though popular in Scotland." "A copy of the ballad in" his "hands 
corrects" an "error in Mr. Kinloch*s version," which correction is 
adopted in the text— Mr. Eonloch's couplet being retained as a 

The following explanatory notice, from the pen of Mr. Kinloch, is as 
a2)plicable to the ballad which precedes as to the one which follows : — 

"There is," says he, "a prevalent belief among seafaring people, 
that if a person who has committed any heinous crime be on ship- 
board, the vessel, as if conscious of its guilty burden, becomes un- 
manageable, and will not sail till the offender be removed : to discover 
whom, they usually resort to the trial of those on board by casting 
lots; and the individual upon whom the lot falls is decLared the 
criminal, it being believed that divine Providence interposes in thia 
manner to point out the guilty person." For a scriptural illustra- 
tion of this prevalent superstition, see the book of the prophet 
Jonah, ch. i. 

1 There was a rich lord, and he lived in Forfar ; 
He had a fair ladye and one only dochter. 
Oh, she was fair, oh dear! she was bonnie; 

A ship's captain courted her to be his honey. 

2 There came a ship's captain out o'er the sea sailing, 

He courted this young thing with words too prevailing : • 
" Ye'll steal your father's gowd and your motner's money, 
Aijd I'll make ye a ladye in Ireland bonnie." 

* The last four words of this lino are 0ttI>sUtutod in place of a different reading In 
EinlOGh*s original. 

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3 She 's stown her father's gowd and her mother's money, 
But she ne'er was a ladye in Ireland bonnie. 

" There 's fey folk • in our ship, she winna sail for me ; 
There 's fey folk in our ship, she winna sail for me." 
They've casten black bullets twice six and forty, 
And aye the black bullet fell on bonnie Annie. 

" Yell take me in your arms twa, lo, lift me cannie, 
And throw me o'erboard, your ain dear Annie." 
He has ta'en her in his arms twa, lo, lifted her cannie, 
He has laid her on a bed of down, his ain dear Annie. 

" What can a woman do, love, I'll do for ye." 
" Meikle can a woman do, ye canna do for me." 
" Lay about, steer about, lay our ship cannie, 
Do all ye can to save my dear Annie." 

"I've laid about, steer'd about, laid about cannie; 
But all I can do, she winna sail for me. 
Ye'U take her in your arms twa, lo, lift her cannie, 
And throw her out o'erboard, your ain dear Annie." 

He has ta'en her in his arms twa, lo, lifted her cannie. 
He has thrown her out o'erboard, his ain dear Annie; 
As the ship sail'd, bonnie Annie she swam, 
And she was at Ireland as soon as them. 

" Make my love a coffin of the gowd sae yellow. 
Where the wood it is dear and the planks they are narrow." 
They made his love a coffin of the gowd sae yellow, 
And they buried her deep on the high banks of Yarrow.f 


At least three versions of this weird piece have appeared, one 
English and two Scotish. They are— 

I. * * The Three Ravens," in " Ravenscrofb's Melismata; Musical 
Pkansies, fitting the CUUe and CauiUrie Hwnoura, to S, J^ 
and 5 Vcyifces, Ix)ndo«, IGll, 4to,'' xmd reprinted by Mr. 
Ilitson in his Ant^nt Songs. 

• " Fey folk: " " people on the verge of death."— Kinloch. 
t Stanza 9 is taken from Mr. Motherwell's MinttrtiUih lutroduction, p. xclx., note 
146. The oopplet It displaoea readB~- 

**He made hie lore a cofOn off the ffoate of Yerrow. 

And horied his bonnie love down In a sea Talloy.'^ 

On which Mr. KInloch remarks:— '* It would be difBciilt to ascertain where Yerrow la 

Bitoated. It would seem, howeyer, to bo on the aea coftet, as ' goats ' sigoiQeB inlets 

where ^ seft entenl " 

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J f. "Tho Twa Corbies," " communicated to " Scott, Minntrdtnj^ 
vol. ii., p. 357, "fy Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Esq., Jun., 
of Hoddam, as wntten down from tradition by a lady. It is 
a sin^lar circumstanc©,*' says Sir Walter, "that it shonld 
coincide so very nearly with the ancient dirge called ' The 
Three Ravens,' published by Mr. Eitson in his Ancient 
Songs; and that, at the same time, there should exist 
such a difference as to make the one appear rather a 
counterpart than copy of the other." 

111. "The Twa Corbies," a different version, which appears in 
Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 7, without note or oomment. 
It is the one here printed, and is cei*tainly the best version 
of the three, but is supposed to have been modernized. 

Variations from Scott's version arc noted under the text. "The 
Three Ravens " concludes thus : — 

"Down ihere cornea a fallow doe. 
As great with young oa Bho might goo. 

" Sho lift up hla bloudy hod, 
And kist nia wounds that woro BO red. 

**Sho got him up upon her backe, 
And carried mm to earthen lake. 

**She buried him before the primo, 
Sho was dead her solfe ere euon-song time. 

"God Bend eurry gentleman 
Such haukes, such houndea, and such a Iranian.** 

1 There were twa corbies sat on a tree, 
Large and black as black might be ; 
And one until the other 'gan say — 

" Where shall we go and dine to-day ? 

Shall we dine by the wild salt sea ? 

Shall we dine 'neath the greenwood tree?" 

2 ** As I sat on the deep sea sand, 
I saw a fair ship nign at land ; 

I waved my wings, I bent my beak, 
The ship sunk, and I heard a shriek : 
There they lie, one, two, and three — 
I shall dine by the wild salt sea." 

3 " Come, I will show ye a sweeter sight, 
A lonesome glen, and a new-slain knight; 
His blood yet on the grass is hot, 

His sword half-drawn, his shafts unshot,— 

And no one knows that he lies there. 

But his hawk, his hound, and his ladye fair. 

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" His hound is to the hunting gane, 
His hawk to fetcli the wild-fowl hame, 
His ladye 's away with another mate, 
So we shall make our dinner sweet; 
Our dinner *b sure, our feasting free : 
Come, and dine by the greenwood tree. 

" Ye shall sit on his white hause-bane, 
I will pick out his bonnie blue een ; 
Ye'll take a tress of his yellow hah-, 
To theek* your nest when it grows barejf 
The gowden down on liis young chin 
Will do to rowe my young ones in. 

" Oh, cauld and bare his bed will be, 
When winter storms sing in the tree ; 
At his head a turf, at his feet a stone, 
He will sleep, nor hear the maiden's moan. 
0*er his white bones the birds shall fly, 
The wild deer bound, and foxes cry." J 


From Buchan's Ancient BcUlads, vol. i, p. 197. 

There are other two ballads of a similar description in the same 
collection— nanielv, "Blue Flowers and Yellow," vol i., p. 185, and 
"Willie's Lyke Wake," voL ii., p. 51. In the two last-named the 
lovers feign death, in order to indace their respective lady-loves to 
attend ana gaze upon their supposed rcmaiiiB. In both cases they prove 
successful in compassing their object. AH three ballads contain stanzas 
which are either repetitions or mere echoes of stanzas in other ballads. 
In the following ballad, for example, stanzas 5 to 8, inclusive, repeat 
or echo a portion of "Young Johnstone," ante^ p. 277; while stanzas 
10 and 11 are similar to stanzas in " Fair Annie of Lochryan," anle, 
pu 1 ; stanza 12 is similar to one in "Lord Ingram and Child Vyet," 
anUf -p. 80 ; while stanzas 13 and 14 will recall to mind the denoue- 
ment of Hector Macneill's popular song, " Mary of Castlecary." 

•"Theek:" thitcb. 

t " With oe lock of his gowdon hair 

We'll thcok onr nest when it grows baro."->Scotrs vcrbioo. 

% " Mony a ano for him makes mane, 
Bnt nane shall ken where he Is gaoe ; 
O'er hlB white banes, when they are bare, 
The wind shall blaw for eTeimair.**--ScotV8 version. 

9 The title is rather Bibemiant as the "kalght" was not ''slain. " 

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The two ballads above referred to begin respeotiyely as under:— 

" * WUlie, my son, what makes yoa so sad, 
As the son shines oyer the valley?* 
* I lye sairly sick for the love of a maid, 
Amaog the blue flowers and yellow.' '* 

—"Blue Flowers and Yellow.* 

" If my love loves mo, she lets me not knowt 
That is a dowle chance; 
I wish that I the same con'd do, 
Tho' my love were In France, France, 
Tho' my love were in France."—" Wlllle'B Lyke Wake." 

1 " My heart is lighter than the poll, 

My folly made me glad, 
As on my rambles I went out, 
Near by a garden side. 

2 "I walk'd on, ond farther on, 

Love did my heart engage ; 

For there I spied a ladye fair, 

Lay sleeping near a hedge. 

3 " Then I kiss*d her with my lips, 

And stroked her with my hand : 
* Win up, win up, ye ladye gay. 
This day ye sleep ower lang. 

4 " * This dreary sight that I ha'e seen, 

Unto my heart gives pain ; 
For by the side of yonder green, 
I see a knight lyes slain. ^ 

5 " * Oh, what like was his hawk, his hawk ? 

Or what like was his hound r 
And what like was the trusty brand, 
This new-slain knight had on ? * 

G " * His hawk and hound were from him gone, 
His steed tied to a tree ; 
A bloody brand beneath his head, 
And on the ground lyes he.* 

7 " * Oh, what like was his hose, his hose ? 

And what like were his shoon? 

And what like was the gay clothing 

This new-slain knight had on ? ' 

8 " * His coat was of the red scarlet, 

His waistcoat of the same ; 
His hose were of the bonnie black, 
And shoon laoed with oordiu\ 

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9 " * Bonnie was his yellow hair, 
For it was new-comb'd down ; ' 
Then, sighing sair, said the ladyo fair, 

* I comb*d it late yestreen. 

10 " * Ob, wha will shoe my bonnie foot ? 

Or wha will glove my hand ? 
Or wha will father my dear bairn, 
Since my love 's dead and gane?* 

11 " ' Oh, I will shoe your bonnie foot, 

And I will glove your hand ; 
And ril bo father to your bairn, 
Since your love 's dead and gane.' 

12 " * I winna father my bairn,' she said, 

* Upon an unkennM man ; 

ril father it on the Bling of Heaven, 
Since my love 's dead and ganc' " 

13 The knight he knack'd his white fingers, 

The ladye tore her hair ; 
He 's drawn the mask from off his face, 
Says — " Ladye, mourn nae mair ! 

14 " For ye are mine, and I am thine, 

I see your love is true ; 
And if I love and brook my life, 
Ye*se ne'er ha'e cause to rue." 


From ScotVfl Minstrelsy ^ voL iii, p. 61. 

" This ballad," says Sir Walter Scott, "is a northern composition, 
and seems to have been the original of the legend called 'Sir 
Aldingar,' which is printed in the Beliques of Andeni Poetry, The 
incidents are nearly the same in both bauads, excepting that in 
*Aldingar' an angel combats for the Queen, instead of a mortal 
champion. The names of ' Aldingar ' and * Bodingham ' approach near 
to each other in sound, though not in orthography, and the one 
might, by reciters, be easily substituted for the other. I think I 
have seen both the name and the story in an ancient prose chronicle^ 
but am unable to make any reference m support of my belie£ 

"The tradition upon which the ballad is founded is universally 
current in the Meams; and the editor is informed that, tiU very 
lately, the sword with which Sir Hu^ le Blond was believed to havQ 

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defended the life and honour of the Queen was carefully presenred 
by his descendants, the Viscounts of Arbuthnot. That Sir Huji^h of 
Arbuthnot lived in the thirteenth century, is proved by his having 
(1282) bestowed the patronage of the church of Garvoch upon the 
monks of Aberbrothvrick, for the safety of his soul. — ReqiHer of 
A berbrothwlck, quoted by Crawford in Peer(ige. But I find no instance 
in history in which the honour of a Queen of Scotland was committed 
to the chance of a duel. 

"But, true or false, the incident narrated in the IxUlad is in the 
genuine style of chivalry. Bomances abound with similar instances, 
nor are they wanting in real history. The most solemn part of a 
knicht*s oath was to defend ' all widows, orphelines, and maidens of 
ga& fame.' — lindsay^s Heraldry MS. The love of arms was a real 
passion of itself which blazed yet more fiercely when united with 
the enthusiastic admiration of tne fair sex. The knight of Chaucer 
exclaims, with chivalrous energy — 

* To fight for a lady! a benediclte! 
It were a Insty sight for to see.' 

It was cn argument, seriously urged by Sir John of Heinault, for 
making war upon Edward IL m behalf of his banished wife, Isabella^ 
that knights were bound to aid, to their uttermost power, all dis- 
tressed damsels living without counsel or comfort 

" Such was the readiness with which, in those times, heroes put 
their lives in jeopardy for honour and lady's sake. But, I doubt 
whether the fair dames of the present day will think that the risk 
of being burnt, upon every suspicion of mdlty, would be aJtogether 
compensated by the probability that a disinterested champion, like 
Hngn le Blond, would take up the gauntlet in their behalt I fear 
they will rather accord to the sentiment of the hero of an old romance, 
who expostulates thus with a certain duke : — 

• Gertes. Sir Duke, thou dooat nnright, 
To make a roast of yoor daughter bright, 
I wot yon ben unkind.'— ilmu and Amelion. 

" I was favoured with the following copy of Sir Hugh le Blond, by 
K. Williamson Burnet, Esq. of Monboddo, who wrote it down from 
the recitation of an old woman, long in the service of the Arbuthnot 
family. Of course, the diction is very much humbled, and it has, in 
all probability, undergone many corru])tions ; but its .antiquity is 
indubitable, and the story, though indifferently told, is in itself 
interesting. It is believed that there have been many more verses." 

1 The birds sang sweet as ony bell, 

The world had not their maik ; 
The Queen she 's gone to her chamber, 
With Rodingham to talk. 

2 *' I love you well, my Qneen. my daniOi 

^Bove land and rents so clear; 
And for the love of you, my Queen, 
Would thole* pain most severe." 
• »' Thole: "bear. 

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8 " If well you love me, Rodingbam, 
Fm sure so do I thee ; 
I love you well as anv man, 
Save the King^s fair bodye." 

4 "I love you well, my Queen, my dame, 

Tis truth that I do tell; 
Your love and favour for to win. 
The salt seas I wou^d sail." 

5 " Away, away, Rodingbam I 

Speak not such words to me ; 
Nor plot such wrong against the King, 
Who puts such trust in thee.* 

C " To-morrow you'd be taken sure, 
And like a traitor slain ; 
And rd be burnM at a stake. 
Although I be the Queen/* 

7 He then stepped out at her room door, 

All in an angry mood ; 
Until he met a leper-man. 
Just by the hard wayside. 

8 He intoxicate the leper-man. 

With liquors very sweet, 
And gave nim more and more to drink, 
Until he fell asleep. 

9 He took him in his arms twa. 

And earned him along. 
Till he came to the Queen's own bed, 
And there be laid him down. 

10 Ho then stepped out of the Queen's bowV, 

As swift as any roe. 
Till he came to the very place 
Where the King himself did go. 

11 The King said unto Rodingbam — 

" What news have you to me ?" 
Ho said — " Your Queen 's a false woman, 
As I did plainly see." 

12 He basten'd to the Queen's chamber, 

So costly and so fine. 
Until he came to the Queen's o^vn bed, 
That the leper-man lay in. 

. ^ The third line of Btasn 4 and the ihrco laet of Btanm (i ore mihetltoted for c ttcrs 
hn de]lc»t«, $» giyen la the originfti, ^ 

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13 He look'd upon the leper-man, 

WTio lay on his Queen's bed; 
He lifted up the snaw-white sheets, 
And thus he to him said: 

14 " Plooky,* plooky are your cheeks, 

And plooky is your chin; 
And plookjr are your arms twa, 
My bonnie Queen 's lain in. 

15 " Since she has lain into your arms, 

She shall not lye in mine ; 
Since she has kiss'd your ugsomef mouth, 
She ne'er mair shall kiss mine." 

IG In anger he wont to the Queen, ' 
Who fell upon her knee; 
He said — "You false, unchaste woman. 
What 's this you've done to me ? " 

17 The Queen then tum'd herself about, 

The tear blinded her e'e: 
" There 's not a knight in all your court 
Dare give that name to me." 

18 He said—" 'Tis true that I do say, 

For I a proof did make: 
You shall DO taken from my bow'r, 
And burned at a stake. 

19 " Perhaps I'll take my word again, 

And may repent the same. 
If that you'll get a Christian man 
To fight that Rodingham." 

20 " Alas ! alas 1 " then cried our Queen, 

" Alas I and woe to me I 
There 's not a man in all Scotland 
Will fight with him for me." 

21 She breath'd unto her messengers, 

Sent them south, east, and west; 
They cou'd find none to fight with him, 
Nor enter the contest. 

22 She breath'd unto her messengers, 

Sent them unto the north; 
And there they found Sir Hugh le Blond, 
To fight him he came forth, 

♦ ♦* Plooky ; " ptaipiy, t ** T^gsome ; " loatbaomQ. 

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-,. J 


28 When nnto him they did unfold 
The circnmstance all right, 
He bade them ^o and tell the Queen 
That for her ne wou'd fight. 

24 The day came on that was to do 
That dreadful tragedy; 
Sir Hugh le Blond was not come up 
To fight for our ladye. 

26 " Put on the fire," the monster said: 
" It is twelve on the bell." 
"'Tis scarcely ten, now," said the King; 
" I heard the clock mysel'." 

26 Before the hour the Queen is brought, 

The burning to proceed; 
In a black velvet chair she 's set, 
A token for the dead. 

27 She saw the flames ascending high. 

The tears blinded her o'e: 
"Where is the worthy knight," she said, 
" Who is to fight for me? " 

28 Then up and spake the King himseP — 

" My dearest, have no doubt. 
For yonder comes the man himseV, 
As bold as e'er set out." 

29 They then advanced to fight the duel 

With swords of tempered steel, 
Till down the blood of Rodingham 
Went running to his heel. 

80 Sir Hugh took out a trusty sword, 

'Twas of the metal clear. 
And he has pierced Bodingham 
Till 's heart-blood did appear. 

81 " Confess your treachery now," he said, 

" This day before you die ! " 
"I do confess my treachery, 
I shall no longer lie: 

82 "I like to wicked Haman am, 

This day I shall be slain." 
The Queen was brought to her chamber, 
A good woman again. 

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33 The Queen then said unto the King — 
" Arbattle 'b near the sea; 
Give it unto the northern knight 
That this day fought for me." 

84 Then said the King — " Come here, Sir Knight, 
And drink a glass of wine; 
And, if Arbattle 's not enough, 
To it we'll Fordoun join." 


'* The following ballad bears a great resemblance to the * Prioresse*s 
Tale ' in Chanoer : the poet seems also to have had an eye to the 
known story of * Hugh of Lincoln,' a child said to have been murdered 
by the Jews (A.D. 1255) in the reign of Henry III.," as related by- 
Matthew Paris. One Jew, who received a promise of impunity, 
confessed to the crime; on which, in spite of the promise n^e to 
him, he was tied to the tail of a horse and dragged to the gallows ; 
eighteen of the richest Jews in Lincoln being also hanged as partici- 
pants, while many more were imprisoned in the Tower of London. 
On the other band, the body of the child was buried with the honours 
of martyrdom in Lincoln Cathedral ; but whether the ShHne of Saint 
Hugo in that Cathedral was erected for the bishop of that name, or 
for the reputed martyr, cannot be determined ** The remains of a 
young person found near this spot, in 1791, were at once taken for 
granted to be those of the saint^ infant; and drawings were made 
of the relics, which may be seen among the works of the artist 
Grimm, in the British Museum." — Professor Child's English and 
ScoUish Ballads, vol. iii., p. 136. 

"Michel has published an Anglo-Norman ballad ('Hugo de Lin- 
colnia') on the subject, which appears to be almost contemporary 
with the event recorded by Matthew Paris, and is certainly of the 
times of Henry III. The whole subject is critically examined in the 
Athenceum for December 15, 1849."— /6W, pp. 137 and 138. 

The ballad here printed has been somewhat freely rendered from 
the versions which have appeared as under :— 

I. "The Jew's Daughter," in Percy's ReHques, voL i., where 
it is termed "A Scottish Ballad," and is said to bo 
"printed from a MS. copy sent from Scotland" It 
begins — 

" The rain rins donne thro* Mlrry land toanc, 
Soe dois It doone the Pa: 
Soe dois the lada of Hirry-lond toune, 
Quhan they play at the bo." 

IL " Sir Hugh," in Herd's ScoUidh Songs, vol. i, p. 90, 

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III. " Huffh of Lincoln/' in Jamieson^s Popular BaUads, vol. i., 

1). 139, where it is given verbatim as the editor^ took it 
clown from Mrs. Brown's recitation. This version pre- 
serves the tradition that the ** child's body" was thrown 
** into a weJl dedicated to the Virdn Marv; and tradition 
says that it was through the might of ' Our Ladye' that 
the dead body was permitted to speak and to reveal the 
horrid story to the disconsolate mother." " The volun- 
tary ringing of the bells, &c., at his funeral," belong 
to this version, connected with which " Blind Harry's 
account of the death of Sir William Wallace" is referred 
to by the editor. 

IV. " Sir Hugh ; or, The Jew's Daughter," in Motherwell's Mm- 

9treUyj p. 61, where it is " given as taken down from 
the recitation of a lady; and contains some additional 
circumstances not to be found in any of the [other] 

V. "Sir Hugh of Lincoln, an old Scottish ballad," in Ston- 

house's Notes to Johnson* 8 MusiccU Museum, p. 500. 

VI. "Sir Hugh," in Hume's Sir Hugh of Lincoln, This is a 
version obtained from recitation in Ireland. 

"Besides these," says Professor Child, "fragments have been printed 
in Sir'Egerton Brydge's Restiiuta, I., 381, Halliwell's BaUads and 
Poems respecting Hugh of Lincoln (1849), and in Notes and Queries, 
YoL viii., p. 614; ix., 320; xii, 4m,"— English and Scottish BaUads, 
vol. iii, p. 137. 

The following, which went the round of the newspapers about Eastor 
of the present year (1870), shows the firm hold which such superstitious 
prejudices have on the minds of the ignorant and credulous of all 
nations and times : — 

"The Eelioion of Lovb. — The Cologne Gazette publishes a pastoral 
letter by the Greek Patriarch at Constantinople. The approach of 
Easter always induces the Christian population to persecute and 
annoy the Jews, on which subject the document says : — ' Superstition 
is a detestable thing. Almost all the Christian nations of the East 
have taken up tiie extravagant idea that the Israelites enjoy shedding 
Christian blood, either to obtain thereby a blessing from Heaven, or 
to gratify their national rancour aeainst Christ. Hence conflicts and 
disturbances break out, by which the social harmony between the 
dwellers in the same land, yea, the same fatherland, is disturbed. 
Thus a report was lately spread of the abduction of little Christian 
children in order to give a pretext for suspicion. We, on our side, 
abhor such lying fancies ; we regard them as the superstitions of men 
of weak £uth and narrow minds; and we disavow them officially. 
We tiiink that ever^ pious Christian should think more favourably of 
his Jewish fellow-citizens. Neither the Mosaic law, nor the present 
social development of the J^ws, nor their natural gentleness, warrant 
such false accusations. Think of the beauty and sublime greatness of 
Christ's gospel, which threatens the punishment of hell for evil 
speaking, and commands love and humanity, even towards enemies. 

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The goBpel aLso oommands us to let our li^ht so shine before men that 
they mav see our good works, and glonfy our Father which is in 

1 *TWAS merry, 'twas merry, in Lincobi town, 

Upon brave Hallow-day; 
For then all the schoolboys of Lincoln town 
Got out to sport and play. 

2 There four-and-twenty bonnie young boys 

Were playing at the ball. 
With sweet Sir Hugh of Lincoln town, 
The flower amang them all. 

3 He kicked the ball with his right foot. 

And stopped it with his knee, • 
Till thro' and thro' the Jew's window 
He made the ball to flee. 

4 Then round and round the Jew's dwelling 

Sir Hugh he walk'd about. 
Until he saw the Jew's daughter 
At a window looking out. 

5 " Throw down the ball, ye Jew's daughter, 

Throw down the ball," said he. 
" No, never a bit," said the Jew's daughter, 
" Come up and get it frae me." 

6 "I cannot go up, I will not go up, 

I will not go up to thee ; 
I cannot go up, I will not go up, 
Some harm you wou'd do me." * 

7 " Come in, Sir Hugh, my sweet Sir Hugh, 

Come in and get the ball." 
" I cannot go in, I will not go in, 
Without my play-feres all." 

8 She pull'd an apple frae the tree, 

An apple red and ^reen; 
And with the apple tliat she puU'd, 
She wiled the young thing in. 

9 She led him to her own chamber, 

To the board where she did dine, 
Then stuck a penknife in his heart, 
And dress'd him like a swine.f 

* **For M ye did to my auld faUier, 

The Bame ye'll do to me."— JamioBon's Tersion. 

t ** *61iQ drpsBed him like a neon,' woa tbo reading we got^" says HSr, Motherwel], 

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10 And first came ont the thick, thick blood, 

And syne came out the thin : 
It came frae the heart of sweet Sir Hugh, 
And left no life within. 

11 She roird him in a cake of lead, 

Bade him lie still and sleep ; 
Then threw him in Our Ladye's well, 
"Was fifty fathom deep. 

12 When bells were rung, and mass was sung. 

And all the boys went home; 
Then every ladye got her son, 
But Sir Hugh's mother alone. 

13 She wrapp'd her mantle her about. 

And hied her up and down ; 
And till the dead hour of the night, 
She searched through Lincoln town. 

14 Then out she cried — " My sweet Sir Hugh, 

Oh, where, where can you be? 
If you speak to any one on earth, 
I pray thee speak to me. 

15 " My bonnie Sir Hugh, my sweet Sir Hugh, 

I pray thee to me speak." 
** Oh, deep down in Our Ladye's well 
Your young son you must seek." 

16 Then she ran to Our Ladye's well, 

And knelt upon her knee : 
" My bonnie Sir Hugh, my sweet Sir Hugh, 
I pray thee speak to me." 

17 " The lead is wond'rous heavy, mother. 

The well is wondVous deep; 
A keen penknife sticks in my heart. 
But here I cannot sleep. 

18 " Then hie you home, my mother dear. 

Prepare my winding sheet; 
And at the back of Lincoln town, 
To-morrow we shall meet." 

19 Ladye Helen quickly hied her home. 

Made him a winding sheet; 
And at the back of Lincoln town, 
Next day the corpse did meet. 

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20 Then she had him laid in hallowed ground, 

And the death-mass for him sung ; 
While all the bells of Lincoln town 
Without men's hands were rung. 

21 And all the books of Lincoln town 

Were read without man's tongue ; 
There was never such a burial 

Of old nor yet of young ; 
There was never such a burial 

Since Adam's days begun. 

22 Oh, the broom, the bonnie, bonnie broom, 

The broom that makes full sore ; 
A woman's mercy is very little, 
But a man's mercy is more. 

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Fbox thk Bbigw of Alkxaspeb IIL 



Printed byJamea WaisoTi, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 


The above is the title and imprint of the earliest dated edition of 


••from internal evidence," snpj^sed to be **one in 12mo (pp. 8), 
without date, of which a copy is in [the] possession of Mr. David 
Laing, and seems never to have had a title. The poem is styled 
' '•Uardiknute," a fragment of an old hcroick ballad.' Besides an 
immense variety of minute differences, and some important and 
material alterations, the folio edition has three stanzas more than 
ti^e one in 12mo" — viz., those here numbered 27, 28, and 40. " The 
folio being more enlarged and^ polished, it is a fair presumption that 
the less ample and ruder version was a first attempt." t 

Allan Bamsay*s Evergreen (1724) purported to be '*a collection of 
Scots poems, wrote by the ingODious before 1600 ; " and it contains, 
toward the end of the second volume, *' Hardy knute," with the 
addition of the stanzas here numbered 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 34, 35, 

• Bitaon'B. 

t Leiten from Bishop Percy, &Cn to George Faton. Note to Frefatory Notice, p. 4. 

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36, 37, 41, and 42. '* Many different readings are given ; and Ramsay, 
to confirm the authenticity of the whole, has everywhere changed the 
initial ^ to z,'' and rendered the general orthography onoonthly antique. 

An edition "with modernized text, general remarks, and notes,'* 
from the editorial pen of John Moncrieff, author of Appitis: a Tragedy, 
was published, London, 1740. 

The Evergreen text was reprinted by Foulis of Glasgow, 174S. It 
also appears *'in a collection of Scots poems on severu occasions, by 
the late Mr. Alexander Penicuick, Gent., and others; Edinburgh, 
printed for James Beid, bookseller in Leith, 1756." 

"Lord President Forbes and Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto (Lord 
Justice Clerk for Scotland), who had believed it ancient, contributed 
to the expense of publishing the " folio edition ; and^ it appears to 
have "generally passed for ancient,'' until Sir David Daurymple, 
Lord Hailes^ transmitted to Bishop Percy "the following particulars," 
as contained in a prefatory note to "this fine morsel of heroic poetry," 
in the second edition of the Reliques of^ Ancient English Poetry^ voL 
ii (1767). Those "particulars," the editor states, " may be depended 
on," and are, that "one Mrs. (Lady) Wardlaw, whose maiden name 
was [Elizabeth] Halket" (second daughter of Sir Charles Halket of 
Pitferran, Fifeshire, and widow of bir Henry Wardlaw, Bart of 
Pitreavie and Balmule, near Dunfermline, in the same county), 
"pretended eOie had foimd this poem, written on shreds of paper, 
employed for what is called the bottoms of clues. A suspicion arose 
that it was her own composition;" and " the lady did in a manner 
acknowledge it to be so. Being desired to show an additional 
stanza as a proof of this, she produced the two last [41 and 42], which 
were not in the coj^y that was Urst printed."* Lord Hailes was, 
however, "of opinion that part of the ballad may be ancient, but 
retouched and much enlarged by the ladv above mentioned. Indeed, 
he had been informed that the late Wuliam Thomson, the Scottish 
musician, who published the Orpheus Caledonius, 1733, 2 vols. 8vo, 
declared he had heard portions of it repeated in his infancy, before 
Lady Wardlaw's copy was heard o£" 

Bishop Percy " was also informed, on the authority of Dr. David 
Clerk, 1ML.D., of Edinburgh, that between the present stanzas, 36 and 

37, the two following hiwL been intended, but were on maturer con- 
sideration omitted : — 

" 'Now darta flow wavering throngh slaw ppoed, 

Scarce could they reach their aim; 
Or roach'd. scarce blood the round point drew, 

'Twoa all but shot in Tain: 
Bight Btrengthy arms fore-feebled grow, 

Sair wreck'd wi* that day's toils: 
E'en fierce-bom mlnda now lang'd for penco, 

And ours'd war's cruel broil h. 

" » Yet still war's horns sounded to charge, 

Swords clash'd and harness rang ; 
But saftlv soo ilk blostie blew 

The hills and dales free 'mang. 
Noe echo heard in doable dlnta, 

Nor the lang-winding horn; 
Nae molr she blew out brodo, as she 

Did eir that summer's mom.'" 

* She yi9A bom, April, 1677; married, June, 1696; and died in 1737. 

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In SeoUUh Tragic BaUads (1781), Pinkerton fi;aye to the world 
" Hardyknute/' in what he professed to regard as "its original 
perfection," such ''perfection'' being the resmt of sundry imprcvt- 
menia on the previous text, and the addition of a second pari by 
himself; although, in his Pre£ektory Dissertation II. (p xzxv.)» he 
alleges his indebtedness, " for most of the stanzas now recovered, to 
the memory of a lady in Lanarkshire." 

In the second edition of the same work, published as Select Scottish 
Ballads, vol. i. (1783), and in *' A list of the Scottish Poets," pre- 
fixed to Ancient Scottish Poems (1786), vol. L (p. cxxvi-viii.), he 
propounded, on the authority of an alleged communication from 
Lord Hailes, an elaborate theory as to the assumed authorship of 
part first by Sir John Bruce, brother-in-law to Lady Wardlaw. He 
then proceeds (p. cxxviii.) to state, regarding "the second part of 
' Hardyknute,' written in 1776 [when he was only eighteen years 
of age], but not published till 1781, the editor must now confess 
himself guilty." 

With reference to the assumed authorship of the first part by Sir 
John Brace, the literary correspondence of Finkerton, publish^ by 
Mr. Dawson Turner, in 2 vol& 8vo, 1830, furnishes the following 
sufficient refutation, in a letter from Lord Hailes to Pinkerton, dated 
2d December, 1785, wherein his lordship states: — "You mistook if 
you suppose that I reckoned Sir John Bruce to be the author of 
' Hardyknute.' It was his sister-in-law. Lady Wardlaw, who is said 
to have been the author. All that I know on the subject is men- 
tioned in Bishop Percy's collection. If yon want to have the original 
edition, with the supplementary stanzas in the handwriting of Dr. 
John Clerk, the copy is at your service." 

Bishop Percy was subsequently " indebted" to Pinkerton " for the 
use" of Dr. Clerk's copy, the " orthocraphy" and "readings" of 
which were " followed" in the fourth emtion of the JReliques (179-1), 
"except in a few instances wherein the common edition appeared 
preferable;" but to counterbalance this service, he shamefully im- 
posed on the worthy prelate's credulity, by foisting on him the 
exploded theory as to Sir John Bruce's authorship; idthough, as 
we now know, he had received a contradiction of it under tiie hand 
of Lord Hailes, as above. 

"Hardyknute," which Sir Walter Scott terms "a most spirited 
and beautifid imitation of the ancient ballad," * and which, on its first 
appearance, was so extrava^jrantly lauded, has of late years been as 
unduly depreciated. Its histoncal basis is rather hazy; but it is 
usually supposed to refer to the battle of Largs — ^the Scotish Armada 
—fought on the 2d of October, 1263, between the invading force led 
by Haco, King of Norway, and the Scotish army commanded in 
person by King Alexander III. The total loss of the Norwegians in 
men, in this, to them, most disastrous expedition, has been computed 
at 20,000, and that of the Scots at 6,000. The victory of the latter 
was largely due to Alexander, Lord High Stewart of Scotland, who 

» Scott'B AfinHreJty, toI. i, p. 43. "On the fly-leaf of his copy of Bomsay's Erer- 
ffrem, 1724, in which the ballad appeared in an amended form, he Baya— •^ar<fo*- 
nute was the first poem I ever learnt— the last that I shall forset.' "—Mr. D. Lainff. in 
Notes to JohnsonViriMfca; Stuseum, p. •321. *^ *' 

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led the riffht wing of the Scotish ormv, and who is supposed to be 
represented in the ballad as *' Hardy knnte," or Hardyknicht The 
results of this important battle were the immediate and permanent 
loss to Scandinavia of the Hebrides and the Isle of Man, wmch depen- 
dencies were relinquished to Alexander III. of Scotland, by terms of 
a treaty concluded in 1266, with Magnus, the successor of Haca The 
battle of Lar^ put an effectual stop to Scandinavian aggressions upon 
Scotland, which thenceforth came to be regarded as "the grave of 
the Danes," whose descendants were consequently led to Siim its 
fatal shores. 

The text of the Reliques, fourth edition, is hero adopted, except 
in a few instances. 

1 Stately stepp'd he east the wall, 

And stately steppM he west; 
Full seventy years he now had seen, 

With scarce seven years of rest. 
He lived when Britons* breach of faith 

Wrought Scotland meiklo wae ; 
And aye his sword tauld, to their cost, 

Ho was their deadly f:ie. 

2 High on a hill his castle stood, 

With halls and towVs a height. 
And goodly chambers fair to see, 

Where he lodged many a knight. 
His dame, sae peerless ance and fair, 

For chaste and beauty deemed, 
Nae marrow had in all the land, 

Save Elenor,* the queen. 

3 Full thirteen sons to him she bare, 

All men of valour stout; 
In bluidv light, with sword in hand, 

Nine lost their lives but doubt. 
Four yet remain; long may they live 

To stand by liege and land! 
High was their fame, high was their might, 

And high was their command. 

4 Great love they bare to Fairly fair, 

Their sister saft and dear; 
Her girdle showed her middle jimp, 

And gowden gli&t her hair. 
What waefu' wae her beauty bred I 

Waefu' to young and aula ; 
Waefu', I trow, to kith and kin, 

As story ever tauld. 

* "Marnret" was the same of the qoeen of Alexander IIL Her mother W4a 
*'£lenor,*^queen of England. 

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6 The king of Norse, in summer tide, 

Puff'd up with pow'r and might, 
Landed in fair Scotland the isle, 

With mony a hardy knight. 
Tlie tidings to our gude Scots king 

Came, as he sat at dine, 
With noble chiefs, in brave array, 

Drinking the bluid-red wine, 

6 "To horse 1 to horse 1 my royal liege 1 

Your faes stand on the strand ; 
Full twenty thousand glittering spears 

The king of Norse commands." 
" Bring me my steed Madge, dapple gray," 

Our gude king rose and cry *d : 
" A trustier beast in all the land 

A Scots king never try'd. 

7 " Go, little page, tell Hardyknute, 

That lives on hill so hie. 
To draw his sword, the dread of faes, 

And haste and follow me." 
The little page flew swift as dart 

Flung by his master's arm: 
" Come down, come down, Lord Hardyknute, 

And rid your king frae harm." 

8 Then red, red grew his dark-brown cheeks, 

Sae did his dark-brown brow; 
Eis looks grew keen, as they were wont 

In dangers great to do. 
Ue *s ta*en a horn as green as glass. 

And gi^en five sounds sae shrill. 
That trees in greenwood shook thereat, 

Sae loud rang ilka hill. 

9 His sons in manly sport and glee 

Had passM that summer's mom. 
When, 10 1 down in a grassy dale. 

They heard their father's horn. 
" That horn," quo' they, " ne'er sounds in peace — 

We've other s^ort to bide;" 
And soon they hied them up the hill, 

And soon were at his side. 

10 " Late, late yestreen I ween'd in peace 
To end my lengthen'd life; 
My age might well excuse my arm 
Frao manly feats of strife ; 

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But now that Norse do proudly boast 

Fair Scotland to enthrall, 
It 's ne'er be said of Hardyknute, 

He feared to fight or fall. 

11 " Robin of Rothsay, bend thy bow ; 

Thy arrows shoot sae leel, 
That mony a comely countenance 

TheyVe turn'd to deadly pale. 
Brade Thomas, take ye but your lance ; 

Ye need nae weapons mair. 
If vou fight wi*t as you did ance, 

'Gainst Westmoreland's fierce heir. 

12 " And Malcolm, light of foot as stag. 

That runs in forest wild, 
Get me my thousands three of men 

Wejl bred to sword and shield. 
Bring me my horse and hamesinc, 

My blade of metal clear ; 
If faes but kenn'd the hand it bare. 

They soon had fled for fear. 

13 " Farewell, my dame, sae peerless gude,"- 

And took her by the hand, — 
** Fairer to me in age you seem. 

Than maids for beautv fam'd. 
My youngest son shall here remain 

To guard these stately towers. 
And shut the silver bolt that keeps 

Sae fast your painted bowers." 

14 And first she wet her comely cheeks, 

And then her boddice green ; 
Her silken cords of twirtle twist, 

Well plett with silver sheen ; 
And apron set with mony a dice 

Of needle-work sae rare, 
Wove by nae hand, as ye may guess, 

Save that of Fairly fair. 

15 And he has ridden o'er muir and moss, 

O'er hills and mony a glen, 
When he came to a wounded knight, 

Making a heavy mane : 
'^ Here must I lie, here must I die, 

By treachery's false guiles ; 
Witless I was, that e'er gave faith 

To wicked woman's smiles." 

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16 " Sir Knight, if ve wero in my bow'r, 

To lean on silken seat, 
My ladye's kindly care you'd prove, 

Who ne'er kenn'd deadly hate. 
Her self wou'd watch you all the day, 

Her maids watch all the night ; 
And Fairly fair your heart wou'd cheer, 

As she stands in your sight. 

17 "" Arise, young knight, and mount your steed, 

Full lowns the shining day ; 
Choose frae my men whom you do please, 

To lead you on the way." 
With smileless look, and visage wan, 

The wounded knight reply'd,— 
" Kind chieftain, your intent pursue, 

For here I maun abide. 

18 " To me nae after day nor night 

Can e'er be sweet or fair ; 
But soon beneath some drapping tree, 

Cauld death shall end my care." 
With him nae pleading might prevail ; 

Brave Hardyknute to gain. 
With fairest words and reason strong, 

Strave courteously in vain. 

19 Syne ho has gone far hynd out o'er 

Lord Chattan*s land sae wide ; 
That lord a worthy wight was aye. 

When faes his courage try'd : 
Of Pictish race, by mother's side, 

When Picts rul'd Caledon, 
Lord Chattan claim'd the princely maid, 

When he sav'd Pictish crown. 

20 Now with his fierce and stalwart train, 

He reached a rising height. 
Where, braid encampit on the dale, 

The Norsemen lay in sight. 
" Yonder, my valiant sons and feirs, 

Our raging reivers wait 
On the unconquer'd Scotish sward, 

To try with us their fate. 

21 " Make orisons to Him that sav^d 

Our souls upon the rood, 
Syne bravely show your veins are fill'd 
With Caledonian bluid." 

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Then forth he drew his trusty glave, 

While thousands all around, 
Drawn frao their sheaths, glanced in the sun, 

And loud the bugles sound. 

22 To join his king, adown the hill 

In haste his march he made, 
While, playin^ pibrochs, minstrels meet, 

Before him stately strade. 
" Thrice welcome, valiant stoop of weir, 

Thy nation^s shield and pride ; 
Thy king nae reason has to fear, 

When thou art by his side." 

23 When bows were bent and darts were thrown, 

For thrang scarce could they flee, 
The darts clove arrows as they met. 

The arrows dart the tree. 
Lang did they ra^^e and fight full fierce. 

With little scaith to man ; 
But bluidy, bluidy was the field, 

Ere that lang day was done. 

2^ The king of Scots that sindle brooked 

The war that looked like plav. 
Drew his braid sword, and brake his bow. 

Since bows seemed but delay. 
Quoth noble Eothsay — '^ Mine I'll keep, 

I wot it 's bled a score." 
" Haste up, my merry men,'* cried the king. 

As he rode on before. 

25 The kins of Norse he sought to find, 

With him to 'mence the faught ; 
But on his forehead there did Qght 

A sharp unsonsie shaft. 
As he his hand put up to find 

The wound, an arrow keen. 
Oh. waeful chancel there pinn'd his hand 

In midst between his een. 

20 "Revenge! revenge 1" cried Rothsay's heir, 
" Your mail-coat shall not bide 

The strength and sharpness of my dart;" 
Then sent it through his side. 

Another arrow well he mark'd. 
It pierc'd his neck in twa : 

His hands then quat the silver reins- 
He low as earth did fa'. 

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27 " Sair bleeds ray liege, eair, sair ho bleeds I" 

Again with might he drew, 
And gesture dread his sturdy bow, 

Fast the braid arrow flew. 
Wae to the knight he ettled at I 

Lament now, queen Elgreid ! 
High dames, too, wail your darling's fall, 

His youth and comely meid. 

28 " Take aff, take aff his costly jupe," 

(Of gold well was it twin'd, 
Knit l^e the fowler's net, through which 

His steelly harness shin'd). 
" Take Norse that gift frae me, and bid 

Him venge the bluid it bears ; 
Say, if he face my bended bow, 

He sure nae weapon fears/' 

29 Proud Norse, with giant body tall, 

Braid shoulder, and arms strong, 
Cried — ** Where is Hardyknute, sae fam'd 

And fear'd at Britain's throne? 
Tho' Britons tremble at his name, 

I soon shall make him wail 
That e'er my sword was made sae sharp, 

Sae saft his coat of mail." 

80 That brag his stout heart cou'dna bide, 

It lent him youthful might: 
" I'm Hardyknute ; this day," ho cried, 

" To Scotland's king I heght 
To lay thee low as horses' hoof; 

My word I mean to keep : " 
Syne, with the first stroke e'er he strake, 

He gar'd his body bleed. 

31 Norse e'en like gray gos-hawks sfair'd wild, 

He sigh'd wiui shame and spite : 
"Disgrac'd is now my far-fam d arm, 

That left thee power to smite." 
Then gave his head a blow sae fell, 

It made hiin down to stoop, 
As low as he to ladies us'd 

In courtly guise to lout. 

32 Full soon he rais'd his bent body, 

His bow he marvell'd sair, 
Since blows till then on him but darr'd 
As touch of Fairly fair. 

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Norse raarvell'd too as sair as lie, 

To seo his stately look ; 
Sae soon as e'er he strake a fae, 

Sae soon his life he took. 

83 "Where, like a fire to heather set, 

Bauld Thomas did advance, 
A sturdy fae, with look enraged. 

Up towards him did prance. 
He spurr'd his steed throw thickest ranks, 

The hardy youth to quell, 
Wlio stood unmov'd at his approach, 

His fury to repel. 

3-i " That short brown shaft, sae meanly trimm'd. 

Looks like poor Scotland's gear ; 
But dreadful seems the rusty point! " 

And loud he leugh in jeer. 
" Oft Britons' bluid has dimn'd its shine, 

This point cut short their vaunt : " 
Syne pierc'd the boaster's bearded cheek, 

Nae time he took to taunt. 

35 Short while he in his saddle swang, 

His stirrup was nae stay : 
Sao feeble hang his unbent knee. 

Sure token he was fey. 
Swith on the harden'd clay he fell. 

Right far was heard the thud ; 
But Thomas look'd not as he lay, 

All weltering in his bluid. 

SQ With careless gesture, mind unmov'd, 

On rode he north the plain ; 
llis seem in throng of fiercest strife 

When winner aye the same. 
Nor yet his heart-dame's dimpl'd cheek 

Cou'd mease saft love to brook, 
Till vengeful Ann retum'd his scorn, 

Then languid grew his look. 

37 In thraws of death, with wallow'd cheek, 

All panting on the plain^ 
The fainting corps of warriors lay, 

Ne'er to arise again; 
Ne'er to return to native land, 

Nae mair, with blythesome sounds. 
To boast the glories of the day. 

And show their shining wounds. 

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88 On Norway's coast the widow'd damo 

May wash tho rocks with tears — 
May fang look o'er the shipless seas 

Before her mate appears. 
CeasO) Emma, cease to hope in vain, 

Thy lord lies in the clay; 
. The valiant Scots nae reivers thole 

To carry life away. 

89 There on a lee, where stands a cross, 

Set np for monument, 
Thousands full fierce that summer's day 

Fill'd keen war's black intent. 
Let Scots, while Scots, praise Hardyknnte, 

Let Norse the name aye dread : 
Ay, how he faught, oft how he spair'd. 

Shall latest ages read. 

40 Loud and chill blew the westlin' wind, 

Sair beat the heavy shower. 
Mirk grew the night ere Hardyknute 

Wan near his stately tow'r. 
His tow'r, that us'd with torches blaze. 

To shine sae far at night, 
Seem'd now as black as mourning weed, 

Nae marvel sair he sigh'd. 

41 " There 's nae light in my ladve's bower. 

There's nae light in my hall; 
Nae blink shines round my Fairly fair, 

Nor'ward stands on my wall. 
What bodes it? Robert, Thomas, say! "— 

Nae answer fits their dread. 
" Stand back, my sons, I'll be your guide; " 

But by they pass'd with speed. 

42 " As fast I've sped o'er Scotland's faes," — 

There ceas'd his brag of weir ; 
Sair sham'd to mind ought but his dame, 

And maiden Fairly fair. 
Black fear he felt ; but what to fear. 

He wist not yet with dread ; 
Sair shook his body, sair his limbS| 

And all the warrior fled. 

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"The Grand Old Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens," as it is styled by 
Coleridge, * * * lays claim to a high and remote antiquity. It is sumiosed 
by BishopPercy to be founded on some event of real history ; out in 
what age the hero of it lived, or when the fatal expedition which it 
records happened, he confesses himself unable to determine. Sir 
Walter Scott and Mr. Finlay, in their respective collections, concar 
in assigning it a like foundation, thougn they disagree as to ihe 
historical incident whence it has originated; while, on the other 
hand, Mr. Bitson asserts that ' no memorial of the subject of the 
ballad exists in history.' Sir Walter Scott inclines to think that the 
ballad may record some unsuccessful attempt to bring homo Margaret, 
commonly caUed * The Maid of Norway,' previous to that embassy 
despatched for her by the Regency of Scotland, after the death of her 
grandfather, Alexander IIL And, though no account of such an 
expedition appears in history, it is nevertheless ingeniously contended, 
that its silence cannot invalidate tradition, or form any aivument 
against the probability of such an event—more especially when the 
meagre materials whence Scottish history is deriveid are taken into 
view. Mr. Finlay objects to giving the ballad, as it stands, so high 
a claim to antiquity, but suggests that if it be referred to the time of 
James III., who married Margaret, daughter of the King of Denmark, 
it would be brought a step nearer probability. 

**To both these opinions, however, Bitson's observation applies 
with overwhelming force. There is no historical evidence of this 
disastrous shipwreck, either in the embassy for the Maiden of 
Norway, or in that for the wife of James IIL And meagre as the 
sources of our history may be, it seems improbable that an expedition 
which terminated so fatally, and to which so many of the choicest 
gallants of the day, and highest nobles of the land, must necessarily 
nave been attached, should fail to be chronicled. Had they fidlen in 
the field of battle, would all memory of them have been lost? Cer- 
tainly not. If they perished on the ocean, why is history oblivious 
of their names? The very circumstance of a national calamity like 
this happening by shipwreck being of more rare occurrence than one 
of equal ma^mtude in time of war, would, we think, be a very mean 
of securing it a more prominent place in the histories of the times. 
The ballad must therefore be either whoUy fitbulous, or it must refer 
to some other event than any yet 8X)oken of. 

'*Our own opinion is, that the ballad is founded on authentio 
history, and that it records the melancholy and disastrous fate of the 
gallant band which followed in the suite of Margaret, daughter of 
Alexander III. , when she was espoused to Eric of Norway. According 
to Fordun, in this expedition many distinguished nobles accom- 

• "The hanJ, be sure, was weather-wise, who framed 
The arond Old Ballad of 'Sir Patrick Spens.' " 

— Coloridge'8 Sib^line Leatet. 

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panied her to Norway to grace her nuptials, several of whom per- 
ished in a storm while on their return to Scotland (a. d. MCCLXXXI. ) 
Fordun, lib. z., cap. xzxvii. Whoever studies the ballad attentively, 
and makes duo allowance for the transpositions, corruptions, and 
interpolations which must unavoidably have crept into its text, 
must ultimately become a convert to the opinion we havo now 
advanced. The bittor taunt of the Norwegians to Sir Patrick — 

'Ye SoottiBhmen spend a' onr king's gowd. 
And a* onr queenis fee *— 

was without meaning and point formerly ; its application is now felt. " 
— Motherwell's MinstreUy^ p. 9. 

Versions of^his ballad have appeared as under :— 

L In Percy's Beliquea, vol. i., as "given from two MS, copies, 
transmitted from Scotland." 

II . In Scott*8 Minstrelsy, vol. i, p. 205, as '*takcu from two 
MS. copies, collated with several verses, recited by the 
editor's friend, Robert Hamilton, Esq., advocate, — being 
the sixteenth, and the four which follow.* But even witn 
the assistance of the common copy, the ballad seems still 
to be a fragment. The cause of Sir Patrick's voyage is, 
however, pomted out distinctly; and it shows that the 
song has claim to high antiquit}^ as referring to a very 
remote period in Scottish history." 

IIL In Jamieson's Popular BaUads, voL i., p. 157. This, "which 
seems the most perfect" of Scott's *'two MS. copies," 
was transmitted by him to Jamieson, as stated by 

IV. In Buchan's Ancient Ballads, vol. i, p. 1, as "taken down 
from the recitation of *a wiffht of Homer's craft,' who, as 
a wandering minstrel, blind from his infancy, has been 
traveUizig in the north as a mendicant for these last fifty 
years. He learned it in his youth from a very old person ; 
and the words are exactly as recited." — Note, p. 289. 
Mr. Motherwell, who saw it in MS., styles it "one of 
the best sets of this ballad." 

The text which follows is based upon Scott's version, with the 
addition of stanzas 12, 13, and 16, from Mr. Buchan's version, and of 
stanzas 21 and 22 from Mr. Finlay's Scottish Historical and Romantic 
BalladSf voL L, Preface, p. xiii. 

The departures from Scott's text are neither numerous nor impor- 
tant ; and wherever they appear to be of the slightest consequence, 
the w^ords of his text are noted under. 

N,B.-^*'Jn singing, the interjection *0 is added to the second 
and fourth lines."— Sir Walter Scott. 

• In the text here printed, the7 are numbered IP, 20, 23, 24, and 25. 

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1 The king sits in Dunfermline town, 

Drinking the bluid-red wine: 
" Ob, where will I get a gude* skipper 
To sail this ship of mine?" 

2 It's up and snake an oldern knight, 

Sat at the ting's right knee — 
" Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor 
That ever saiPd the sea." 

3 The king has written a braid letter, 

And sealed it with his hand, 

And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens, 

Was walking on the strand. 

4 " To Noroway, to Noroway, 

To Noroway o'er the faemi 
The king's daughter to * Noroway, 
'Tis thou maun take ^ her hamel" 

5 The first line that Sir Patrick read, 

A loud, loud laugh laugh'd ho; 
But ere he read it to an end,* 
The tear blinded his e'e. 

6 " Oh, wha is this has done this deed, 

And tauld the kin^ of me, — 
To send us out at this time of the year, 
To sail upon the sea? 

7 " Be't wind, be't weet, be't hail, be't sleet, 

Our ship must sail the faem; 
The king's daughter to** Noroway, 
'Tis we must take* her hame." f 

6 "Of." 

» "Bring." ^ Scott's version. 
• "Fetch." 
• rercy's version reads,— 

"Tho next lino that Sir Patrick read.** 
t Buchan's version has the following; stanzas:— 

" * Yell eat and drink, my merry men a'. 
An' Bee ye be well thorn; 
For blaw ft weet, or b!aw it wind, 
My gnde ship soils the morn. 

" ' Bat I mann Eoil the seas the mom, 
And likewise sae maun you; 
To Noroway wi' our king's daughter,*^ 
A chosen queen she 's now.' " 

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8 They hoysed their sails on Mononday morn, 
With all the speed they may, 
And they ha'o landed in Noroway 
Upon a Wodensday. 

Thoy hadna been a week, a week 
In Noroway, but twae, 
When that the lords of Noroway 
Began aloud to say : * 

10 " Yo Scottishmen spend all our king's gowd, 

And all our [young] queen's fee." 
" Ye lee, ye lee, ye liars loud! 
Full loud I hear ye lee I 

11 " For I ha'e brought as much white monie 

As gane j* mv men and me ; 
I brought a half-fou J of gudo red gowd 
Out o'er the sea with me. 

12 " But betide mo well, betide me wac, 

This day I'se leaye the shore ; 
And never spend my king's monio 
'Mong Noroway dogs no more.'* 

13 Then out it spake a gude auld man, 

[In Sir Patrick's compauie :] § 
"Whatever ye do, my gudo master, 
Take God your guide to be." 

1^ " Make ready, make ready, my merry men all, 
Our gude snip sails the morn." 
" Now, ever alake ! my master dear, 
I fear a deadly storm! 

15 "I saw the new moon, late yestreen, 
With the auld moon in her arm ; 
And if we gang to sea, master, 
I fear we'll come to harm." 

* "They hadna stayed into that place 
A month bat and a i)ny. 
Till he caused the flip lu mugs gac roiiu\ 
And wine in cans sae gay. 
"The pipe and harp sao sweetly play'd, 
The tnampcta loudly sound ; 
In evory hall wherein they stayed, 
Wi' their mirth did rcbound."— Buchan s version. 

t "Gane: " aervo or Bufflce. 

t "I brought a half-fon o' gi 
Scott esplains "haU-foa " as i 

S " A gude decth mot he dee/'-^Bachan. 

t "I brought a half-fou o' gude red gowd."— Percy and Srott 
Scott esplains "haU-foa " as meaning "the eighth part of a ^icclc' 

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16 [Sir Patrick and his merry men all 

Were ance mair on the facm ;] * 
With five-and-fifty Scots lords' sons, 
That lang'd to bo at hamo. 

17 But they hadna saiVd upon the sea 

A day but barely three, 
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud, 
And gurly grew the sea. 

18 The ankers brak, and the topmasts lap, 

It was sic a deadly storm ; 
And the waves came o'er the broken ship 
Till all her sides were torn. 

1 9 " Oh, where will I get a gudo sailor 

To take my helm in hand, 
Till I get up to the tall topmast, 
To sec if I can spy land ? " 

20 " Oh, here am T, a sailor gudc, 

To take the helm in hand. 
Till you go up to the tall topmast; 
But I fear ye'U ne'er spy land." 

21 Then up and came a mermaid wild, 

With a siller cup in her hand : 
^* Sail on, sail on, my gudo Scots lordij, 
For ye soon will see dry land." 

22 " Awa, awa, ye mermaid wild, 

And let your fleechin' be ; 
For, since vour face we've seen the day, 
Dry lana we'll never see." 

23 He hadna gane a step, a step, 

A step but barely ano. 
When a bolt flew out of the goodly ship, f 
And the saut sea it came in. % 

* » Yotmg Ffttriok he is on the sea, 
And eyen on the faem."— Bachan. 
t " I believe a modem seaxnan would say, ' a plank had startc^d.* ... Mr. Finlay, 
however, thinks it rather means that * a bolt gave way.* "—Scott On which sapient 
controversy Mr. Motherwell sagely remarks:— *' It seems to us particularly obvious, 
that Mf a bar or bolt (Scottioe, 6ouO had loosened,* a plank mobt necessarily hav9 

X " He hadna gane to his tapmas^ 
A step but barely three. 
Till thro* and thro'^the bonnie ship's sidQ 
So saw the greea haw eea. 

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?1 " Gao fetch a web of the silken claith. 
Another of the twine, 
And wap them into our gnde ship^s side, 
And let na the sea come in." * 

25 They fetch'd a web of the silken claith, 

Another of the twine ; 
And they wapp'd them into tlio gudc ship's side, 
But still the sea came in. 

26 Oh, laith, laith were our gudo Scots lords 

To weet their cork-heePd f shoon ! 
But lang or all the play was play'd, 
They wet their hats aboon. 

27 And mony was the feather bed 

That floated on the faem ; 
And mony was the gude lord's son 
That never mair came hame. 

28 Oh, lang, lang may the ladies sit. 

And gaze with fan in hand, % 
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens 
Come sailing to the strand. 

29 And lang, lang may the maidens sit, 

With their gowd kaims in their hair, 
A- waiting for their ain dear loves; 
For them they'll see nao mair. 

" ' There are flve-on'-flfty foathor Ijods, 
Well packed in ae room; 
And yell get as mucklo gudo cciivaB 
Afi wrap the ship a' rouu'; 

*' * Te'll pict her well, and spare hor not^ 
And mak* her hale and bouu'; ' 
But ere he had the word well spoke, 
The tonnie ship was down. 

*• Oh, laith, laith were our gutle lords' sons 
To wcot their milk-white hands; 
But lang ere a* the play was ower. 
They wat their gowden bands,''— Buchan's version. 

• "The remedy applied seems to be that mentioned in Cook's Vouages, when, upon 
eome occasion, to stop a leak, which could not be got at in the inside, a quilted suil 
was brought under the Tessel, which, being drawn into the leak by the suction, pro- 
yentcd the entry of more water. Chaucer says, — 

' There n'is na new guise that it na'as old.' "^ScQtU 
t "Coal-black."— Buchan. 
1 "Wi' their fanfl Into their hand."— Percy and Scotk 


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30 Half ower, half ower to Aberdour,* 
Tis fifty fathoms deep; 
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spcns, 
With the Scots lords at his feet. 



From Scott's Mtnsfrehf/, vol. iv., p. 110. 

"Few |)crsonages are bo renowned in tradition as Thomaa of Ercil- 
doune, known by the ai)X)ellation of *Tho Rhymer.' Uniting, or 
supposing to unite, in his person the powers of poetical compo6ibon,-f 
and of vafcicination, his memory, even after the lapse of five hundred 
years, is regarded with veneration by his countrymen. To give any- 
thing like a certain history of this remarkable man would be indeed 
difficult ; but the curious may derive some satisfaction from the parti- 
culars here brought together. 

" It is agreed on all hands, that the residence, and probably the 
birthplace, of this ancient bard was Ercildouiie, a village situated 
upon the Leader, two miles above its junction with the Tweed. The 
ruins of an ancient tower are still pointed out as the Rhymer's castle. 
The uniform tradition bears, that nis surname was Lermont, or Lear- 
mont ; and that the appellation of * The Rhymer ' was conferred ou 
him in consequence of his poetical compositions. There remains, 
nevei-theless, some doubt upon the subject. In a charter, which is 
subjoined at length, 4: the son of our poet designed himself 'Thomas 

• " In Scott's Border MinBtrtlstfy this lino rcatls — 

•Oh, forty miles off Aberdeen; 
but wo arc inclined to favour tho reading— 

'Half ower, half ower to Abordonr.' 
For, with BobmisBion to tho opinion of Sir Walter Scott, tho moaninp of thta Hno fa 
not that the shipwreck took place in tho Firih of Forth, but midway betwocn Abenlour 
and Norway. And, as it would seem from tho narratlTO, at the commencemcQt of 
tlio ballad, that Sir Patrick sailed from the Forth, it is but fair to infer that, in h^a 
(Usttstrous voyage homeward, he w^ould omleavour to make the samo port This 
opinion will be corroborated if wo are correct in assigning the ballad to the histori- 
cal event mentioned in the introductory remarks." — ^Motherwell 

T Sir Walter Scott in his edition of Sir TriHrein, not only claims the authorship of 
tbnt romance for "Thomas iho Rhymer," but also ascdlxis to him the roman -e of 
'• Kyng Hom."— See Scott's Introduction, p. lis. Tho ballad of " Hyndo Horn" will 
be found ante, p. V2i. 

t ^^Frorn th€ Chartulanj of the Trinity Home fl/So:tra Advocates' Library, W. 4. 41. 

"Omnibus has literas vi«ur:s vcl auditurlB Thomas do Eroildoun Ulius et hercs 
Thomas Bymour do Ercildoun salutem in Domino. NoveritU mo per fustem ct 
baculum in pleno jndiolo resignu^se ao per pro^cntes quietem clamasse pro me et 
heiedibus meis Magistro domus Sancto: Trinltatis do Soltro et fratribos ejusdem 
domus totom tcrram mcam cum omnibus i)eriiDcntibu8 suis quom in tonemento de 
Krcildoun hercditarle tenui ronunc.iando de toto pro me et heredibos meis omni Jure 
et clameo quos ego pcu anteccssorea mei in eadem terra alioque tempore do perpetao 
habulmus sire de future habere posBunms. In cujus rei testimonio preaentibas 
his slgillum meum appo3ui data apud Ercildoun die Martis proximo post festnxa 
SonctonuQ Aj^oetolorum Symunis ct Judo Anno Domini 1299." 

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of Ercildoun, son and heir of Thomas Eymour of Ercildoun,' which 
seems to imply that the father did not bear the hereditary name of 
Learmont; or, at least, was better known and distinguished by the 
ci)ithet, which he had acquired by his personal accomi^lishments. I 
must, however, remark, that, down to a very late period, the practice 
of dicrfcinguishing the parties, even in formal writings, by the epithets 
which had been bestowed on them from personal circumstances, in- 
stead of the proper surnames of their families, was common, and in- 
deed necessary, amoug the Border clans. So early as the end of tho 
thirteenth century, when surnames were hardly introduced in Scot- 
land, this custom must have been imiversal. There is, therefore, 
nothing inconsistent in supposing our poet*s name to have been 
actually Learmont, although, in this chart<ir, he is distinguished by 
the jiopular appellation of * The Rhymer.* 

" We are better able to ascertain the period at which Thomas of 
ErcildoDno lived, being the latter end of the thirteenth century. I 
am inclined to place his death a little further back than Mr. Pinker- 
ton, who supposes that he was alive in 1300 (List of Scottish Poets), 
which is hardly, I think, consistent with tho charter already quoted, 
by which his son, in 1299, for himself and his heirs, conveys to tho 
convent of the Trinity of Soltra, the tenement which he jwsscssed by 
inheritance (hereditarie) in Ercildoune, with all claim which he or his 
predecessors could pretend thereto. From this we may infer, that 
the Rhymer was now dead, since we find the son disposing of the 
family proj>erty. Still, however, the argument of the learned historian 
will remain unimpcached as to the time of the poet's birth. For if, 
as we learn from Barbour, his prophecies were held in reputation* as 
early as 1306, when Bruce slew tno Bed Cummin, the sanctity, and 
(let me add to Mr. Pinkei-ton's words) the uncertainty of antiquity, 
must have already involved his character and writings. In a charter 
of Peter de Haga de Bemersyde, which unfortunately wants a date, 
the Bhvmer, a near neighbour, and, if we may trust tradition, a friend 
of the uunily, appears as a witness. — Ckartulary of Melrose. 

** It cannot be doubted, that Thomas of Ercildoune was a remark- 
able and important person in his own time, since, very shortly after 
his death, we lind him celebrated as a prophet and as a poet. Whether 
he himself made any pretensions to the first of these characters, or 
whether it was gratuitously conferred upon him by the credulity of 
]>ostcrity, it seems difiicult to decide. If we may believe Mackenzie, 
Learmont only versified the prophecies delivered by Eliza, an inspired 
nun of a convent at Haddington. But of this there seems not to bo 
the most distant proof. On the contrary, all ancient authors, who 
quote the Rhymers prophecies, uniformly 8iipi)Ose them to have been 
emitted by himself. Thus, in Win town's Chronicle : — 

* Of this fycht quiliim quk Thomas 
Of Ersyldoiine. that suy*! in clenic, 
Thoro suld ineit stalwartly, sturke and sternc. 
He Bayd it in hia propliocy ; 
Bat how he wist it was foily.'— Book vlii., chop. C2. 

• "Tho lines alladed to are these :-> 

'I hope that ThomuVs pmphccio, 
Of Ereolcloun, &liaU U'aly Lo 
In him,' &c." 

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** There could have been no ferly (marvel) iu Wintown's eyes at 
least, how Thomas came by his knowledge of future events, had he 
ever heard of the inspired nun o& Haddington, which, it cannot be 
doubted, would have been a solution of the mystery, much to the 
taste of the prior of Lochleven.* 

"Whatever doubts, however, the lc«amed might have as to the 
source of the Rhymer's prophetic skill, the vulgar had no hesitation 
to ascribe the wnole to the intercourse between the bard and tho 
Queen of Fa3ry. The popular tale bears, that Thomas was carried 
ofif, at an early age, to the Fairy Land, where he acquired all the 
knowledge which made him afterwards so famous. Alter seven years* 
residence, he was permitted to return to the earth, to enlighten and 
astonish his countrymen by his prophetic powers; still, however, 
remaining bound to return to his royal mistress when she should 
intimate her pleasure. Accordingly, while Thomas was making 
merry with his friends in the Tower of Ercildoune, a person came 
running in, and told, with marks of fear and astonishment, that a 
hart and hind had left the neighbouring forest, and were, composedly 
and slowly, parading the street of the village. f The ]>rophet instantly 
arose, left his habitation, and followed the wonderful animals to the 
forest, whence he was never seen to return. According to the popu- 
lar belief he still * drees his weird * in Fairy Land, and is one day 
expected to revisit earth. In the meanwhile, his memory is held 
in the most profound respect. The Eildon Tree, from beneath the 
shade of whicn he delivered his prophecies, now no longer exists ; but 
the spot is marked by a large stone, called Eildon Tree Stone. A 
neighbouring rivulet takes the name of the Bogle Bum (Goblin Brook) 
from the Bhymer's supernatural visitants. 

** It seemed to the editor unpardonable to dismiss a person so im- 
portant in Border tradition as the Ehymer, without some further 
notice than a simple commentary upon the following ballad. It is 
given from a copy, obtained from a lady residing not far from 
Ercildoune, corrected and enlarged by one in Mrs. Brown's MSS. 
The former copy, however, as might he expected, is fiir more minute 
as to local description. To this md tsde tne editor has ventured to 
add a Second Part, consisting of a kind of canto, from the printed 
prophecies vulgarly ascribed to tho Rhymer, t To make his |)eaco 
with tho more scvero antiquaries, the editor has prefixed to the 

* " Henry tho Minstrt 1, who introduces Thomas into the JIutary of Wallace 
expresses the same doubt as to the source of his prophetic knowledge:— 
' Thomas Bbvmer into the faile was than 
"With the mmister, which was a worthy man. 
He used oft to that religious place; 
The people deemed of wit he meikle can, 
And BO he told, though that they bless or ban, 
In rule of war whether they tint or wan; 
Which happened sooth in many divers case; 
I cannot sav by wrong or rightcoubness. 
It may be deemed by diTision of grace.' ftc 

^IJistorp <^f WaUaee, book IL" 

t ** There is a singular resemblance betwixt this tradition, and an incident oceurrfng 
in tho life of Merlin Calcdonius, which the reader will find a few pages onwards.**— S. 

t "And a Tlilrd Part entirely modern, fooneled upon the tradition of his having 
retumpd with iho hart and hind to the Land of Faery," Which third part is here 

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Second Part some remarks on Learmont's prophecies." — Sir Walter 

Some additional stanzas and varions readings are added in the 
notes, from a "copy procured in Scotland" by Mr. Jamieson, and 
given in his Popular Ballads^ voL ii., p. 7. 

1 True Thomas lay on Huntly bank; 

A ferlie* bo spied with his e*e; 
And there he saw a ladye bright, 

Came riding down by the Eildon tree.* 

2 Ilcr skirt was made* of the grass -green silk, 

Her mantle of the velvet fine; 
At ilka telt of her horse's mane, 
Hung fifty siller bells and nine. 

3 True Thomas ho piilPd aff his cap, 

And louted low down to his kneo: •* 
*' All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven, 
For thy peer on earth I never did see I " 

4 *' Oh no, oh no,' Thomas," she said, 

"That name does not belong to me; 
I am but the Queen of fair Elfland, 
That am hither come to visit thee ! 

6 " Harp and carp. True Thomas," she said, 
" Harp and carp along with me; 
And if ye dare to kiss my lips. 
Sure of your body I shall be I " 

6 " Betide me weal, betide me woe, 

That weird shall never daunton me I "-^ 
Syne he has kiss'd her rosy lips, 
All underneath the Eildon tree. * 

7 " Now ye maun go with me," she said, 

" True Thomas, ye maun go with me; 
And ye maun serve me seven years, 
Thro' weal or woe, as chance may be." 

« "Fcrlie: " a wonder, a xnaryeL 

» VariatlonB on stanzafi 1 to 4, from JamlOBon'a fragment:— 
**Tme Thomas lay o'er yonder bank, 
And he beheld a ladve gay ; 
A ladye, that wan brisk and bold. 
Come riding o'er the fern'e brae.'" 
« Omits "mada*' 

<i "Trne Thomas he took off his hat, 

And bow'd him low down till his kneo " 

* Inserts "True." 

/ "That weird," Ac: • That destiny shall never frighten mo."— Scott 
8 Stanzas 5 and G do not appear in Jamicson's fragment 

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8 SliG tum'd about her milk-white steed, 

And took True Thomas up behind; 
And aye, whene'er her bridle rung, 
The steed flew swifter than the wind.« 

9 Oh, they rado on, and farther on, 

The steed gaed swifter than the wind, 
Until tliey reach'd a desert wide, 
And living land was left behind. * 

10 *' Light down, light down, now. True Thomas, 

And lean your head upon my knee; 
Abide, and rest a little space, 

And I will show you ferlies three. 

11 "Oh, see yo na that braid, braid road, 

That lies across the lily loven? 
Tliat is the path of wickedness, 
Tho' some call it the road to heaven. 

12 " And see vo not yon narrow road, 

Sao thick beset with thorns and briers,? 
Tliat is the path of righteousness, 
Tho' after it but few inquires. 

13 " And sec yc not yon tonnio road, 

That winds about the ferny brae? 
Tliat is the way to fair Elfland, 
Where you and I this night maun gae. 

^ Tho variations of Rtnnza 8, horo noted, aro from Scott's voralon, Jamieson's 
corresponding Btauza bclug substituted in tho text as profcitiblo :— 
*'Sho '8 mounted on,' Ac (line 1). 
"And gaed," &c. {line 2). 

* Stan7Ji 9 Ib not in Jamieson's fragment; bnt the following Inferior and irregolar 
Btanzas como In between and 10 of Scott's text:— 

" Oh, they rade on, and farther on. 
Until thoy came to a garden green; 
'Light down, light down, ye ladye free, 
Some of that froit let me pull to thoo.' 

" ' Oh no, oh no, True Thomas,' she saya, 
*That fruit maun no be touch'd by Uieo; 
For all tho plagues that aro in hell 
Light on tho fruit of this countrio. 

" ' But I have a laef hero in my laji. 
Likewise a bottle of clarry wine; 
And now, ore wo go farther on. 
We'll rest awhile, and yo may dine.* 

" When ho had eaten and drank his fill, 
The ladvo said—* Ere we climb you hill, 
Lay your head uiMn my knee, 
And I will show thee ferlies three' " 

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11 " But, Thomas, yo maun hanld your tongue, 
Whatever ye may hear or sec; 
For if yo speak a word in Elfin land, 
Ye'll ne'er get back to your ain countrie!"" 

15 Oh, they rade on, and farther on. 

And they waded through rivers abuno the knee, 
And they saw neither sun nor moon, 
But they heard the roaring of the sea.* 

IG It was mirk, mirk night, there was nae stem-light,* 
And they waded through red bluid to the knee ; 
For all the blnid that *s shed on earth 
Rins through the springs of that countrie. 

17 Syne they came on to a garden green. 

And she pull'd an apple frae a tree : 
" Take this for thy wages, True Thomas; 
It will give thee the tongue that will never lee!" 

18 " My tongue is my ain," True Tliomas said ; 

" A gudely gift ye wou'd gi'o to me! 
I neither doughfto buy nor sell, 
At fair or tryste where I may be. 

19 "I donght neither speak to prince or peer, 

Nor ask of grace from fair ladye 1 " 
" Now, hauld thy peace," the ladye she said ; 
" For as I say, so it must be." • 

20 He has gotten a coat of the even cloth, 

And a pair of shoon of the velvet green ; 
And till seven years were gone and past, 
True Thomas on earth was never seen/ 

o stanzas 11 to 14, inclasivo, occar almost verhaUm in Jamloson's fragment 

> "For forty days and forty nJghtfi 

lie wade through red blade to the knee; 
And ho saw," &c. 

« " Stom-Ught: " starlight 

«"Dought:" durst 

« "The traditional commentarrapon this ballad Informs ns, that the apple was the 
produce of the fatal Tree of Knowledge, and that the garden was the terrestrial 
paradise. The repngnanoe of Thomas to be debarred the use of falsehood, when 
he might fhid it oonTentent, has a comic effect"— Scott 

Stanzas 16, 17, 18, and 19— with the exoeption of Une 2, stanza 16-are not to be 
found in Jamieaon's fragment 

/ Oocors almost verbatim in Jamleson's fragment 

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" The prophecies ascribed to Thomas of Ercildonne have been tho 
principal means of securing to him remembrance ' amongst the sons 
of his people.' The author of Sir Tristrem would long ago have 
joined, m tne vale of oblivion, * Clerk of Tranent^ who wrote tho 
adventure of Schir Oawain,^ if, by good hap, the same current of 
ideas respecting antiquity, which causes Virgil to be regarded as a 
ma^cian by the lazarom of Naples, had not exalted the batd of 
Ercildoune to the prophetic character. Perhaps, indeed, he himself 
affected it during his life. We know at least, for certain, that a 
belief in his supernatural knowledge was current soon after his death. 
His prophecies are alluded to by Barbour, by Wintown, and by 
Henry the Minstrel, or Blind Harry, as he is usually termed. None 
of these authors, however, give the words of auy of the Rhymer's 
vaticinations, but merely narrate, historically, his having predicted 
the events of which they speak. The earliest of the prophecies 
ascribed to him, which is now extant, is quoted by Mr. Pinkerton 
from a MS. It is supposed to be a response from Thomas of Ercil- 
doune to a question from the heroic Countess of March, renowned for 
the defence of the Castle of Dunbar against the English, and termed, 
in the familiar dialect of her time, Block Agnes of Dunbar. This 
prophecy is remarkable, in so &r as it bears verj' little resemblance 
to any verses published in the printed copy of the Rhymer's supposed 
prophecies. The verses are as follows : — 

*La coimtesse do Donbar demande a Thomas do Essedouae quant U gacrro 
d'Escooe prendreit fyn. £ yl Ta repoundy et dyt,— 

* When man is mad a kyog of a capped man; 
When man is levere ouer mones thyng than his owen ; 
When londe thonvs forest, ant forest is feldo; 
When hares kendles o* the her'atane; 
When Wyt and Wille werres togedere; 

When mon makes atables of kTrkes, and steles castela with stye; 
When Bokesborouffhe nys no Durgh ant market is at Forwyleye; 
When Bambonme is douged with dede men; 
When men lodes men in ropes to boven and to sollcn; 
When a qnarter of whaty whete is chaunged for a colt of ten markoa; 
When prude (pride) prikes and pees Is leyd in prisoun; 
When a Soot no me hym hude aso hare in forme that the English co shall hym 

Whin rycnt ant wronge astente the togedere; 
When laddes weddeth iovedies; 

When Soottes flen so faste, that, for fante of shf p, hy dro wnoth homselvc; 
When Bhal this be? 
Nouther in thine tyme no in mine; 
Ah comen ant gone 
Witbinne twenty winter ant one.* 

-^PifUberUm's Poemtjjhm MaitlandTt MSS. quoting Jtom Harl Lib. 2353. F. 127. 

'* As I have never seen tho MS. from which Mr. Pinkerton makes 
his extract, and as the date of it is fixed by him (certainly one of the 

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most able antiquaries of our age) to the reign of Edward I. or IL, it 
is with great diffidence that I hazard a contrary opinion. There can, 
however, I believe, be little doubt, that these prophetic versea are a 
forgery, and not the production of our Thomas the Rhymer. But I 
am inclined to believe them of a later date than the reign of Edward 
I. or II. 

" The gallant defence of the Castle of Dunbar, by Black Agnes, took 
place in the year 1337. The Bhymer died previous to the year 1299 
(see the charter, by his son, in the introduction to the foregoing 
ballad). It seems, therefore, very improbable that the Countess of 
Dunbar could ever have an opportunity of consulting Thomas the 
Rhymer, since that would infer that she was married, or at least 
engaged in state matters, previous to 1299 ; whereas she is described 
as a young, or middle-aged woman, at the period of her being besieged 
in the fortress which she so well defended. If the editor might 
indulge a conjecture, he would suppose that the prophecy was con- 
trived for the encouragement of the English invaders, during the 
Scottish wars ; and that the names of the Countess of Dunbar, and of 
Thomas of Ercildoune, were used for the greater credit of the forgery. 
According to this hypothesis, it seems likely to have been com\)Osed 
after the siege of Dunbar, which had made the name of the countess 
well known, and consequently in the reign of Edward III. The 
whole tendency of the prophecy is to aver that there shall be no end 
of the Scottish war (concerning which the question was proposed), 
till a final conquest of the country by Ens'land, attended by all 
the usual severities of war. *When the cultivated country shall 
become forest,' says the prophecy ; — * when the wild animals shall 
inhabit the abode of men ;— when Scots shall not be able to escape 
the English, shotdd they crouch as hares in their form,' — all these 
denunciations seem to refer to the time of Edward III., u^n whoso 
victories the prediction was probably founded. The mention of the 
exchange betwixt a colt worth ten marks, and a quarter of ' whaty 
[indifferent] wheat,' seems to allude to the dreadful famine about 
the year 1388. The independence of Scotland was, however, as 
impregnable to the minds of 8ui>erstition as to the steel of our more 
powenul and more wealthy neighbours. The war of Scotland is, 
thank God, at an end ; but it is ended without her people having 
either crouched like hares in their form, or being drowned in their 
flight, * for faute of ships,' — thank God for that too. The prophecy 
quoted is probably of the same date, and intended for the same 

" A minute search of the records of the time would probably throw 
additional light upon the allusions contained in these ancient legends. 
Among various rnymes of prophetic import^ which are at this day 
current amongst the people of Teviotdale, is one supposed to be pro- 
nounced by Thomas the Rhymer, presaging the destruction of his 
habitation and family : — 

*Tlie bare sail kittlo plttor] on my hearth stane, 
And there will never be a laird Lcariuont again.' 

The firpt of these lines is obviously borrowed from that in the MS. 
of the Harl. Library, * When hares kendles o' the her'stane'— an 

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emphatic ima?e of desolation. It is also ioaccarately quoted in the 
prophecy of Waldhavo, published by Andro Hart, 1613 :— 

*Thi8 iH a tnio tolkin.f? that Thomas or tolls, 
Tho bare Blmll hirple on tlio hard [hearth] stanc' 

" Spottiswoode, an honest, but credulous historian, seems to hare 
been a firm believer in the authenticity of the prophetic wares vended 
ill the name of Thomas of Ercildounc. * The prophecies yet extant 
ill Scottish rhjrraes, whereupon he was commonly called Thomas tho 
Khjrmcr, may justly be admired ; havincr foretold, so many ages before, 
the union of England and Scotland, in the ninth degree of the Bruce's 
blood, with the succession of Bruce himself to the crown, being yet a 
child, and other divers particulars, which the event hath ratified and 
made good. Bocthius, in his story, relateth his prediction of King 
Alexander's death, and that he did foretell the same to the Earl of 
March, the day before it fell out, sayinor, «« That before the next day 
at noon, such a tempest should blow as Scotland had not felt for many 
years before." The next morning, the day being clear, and no chango 
appearing in the air, the nobleman did challenge Thomas of his saying, 
calling hun an impostor. He replied that noon was not yet passed. 
About which time a post came to advertise the earl of the kins his 
sudden death. *^Then,^' said Thomas, **this is the tempest I fore- 
told; and 80 it shall prove to Scotland." Whence, or how, he bad 
this knowledge, can hardly be affirmed, but sure it is, that he did 
divine and answer truly of many things to come.' — Spotlmooode, p. 
47. Besides that notable voucher, Master Hector Boece, the good 
archbishop might, had he been so minded, have referred to Foninn 
for the prophecy of King Alexander's death. That historian calls our 
bard •ruralis ille y&teaJ—Fordun, lib. x., cap. 40. 

"What Spottiswoode calls 'the prophecies extant in Scottish 
rhyme,* are the metrical productions ascribed to the seer of Ercil- 
dounc, which, with many other compositions of the same nature, 
bearing the names of Bede, Merlin, Gildas, and other approved 
soothsayers, are contained in one small volume, published by Andro 
Hart, at Edinburgh, 1615. Nisbet the herald (who claims the prophet 
of Ercildoune as a brother professor of his art, founding upon the 
various allegorical and emblematical allusions to heraldry), intimates 
the existence of some earher copy of his prophecies than tnat of Andro 
Ilart, which, however, he does not pretend to have seen. The lato 
excellent Lord Hailes made these compositions the subject of a disser- 
tation, published in his Remarks on the History of Scotland, His 
attention is chiefly directed to the celebrated prophecy of our bard, 
mentioned by Bishop Spottiswoode, bearing that the crowns of 
England and Scotland should be united in the person of a king, 
son of a French queen, and related to Bnice in the ninth degree. 
Lord Hailes plainly proves, that this prophecy is perverted from its 
original purpose in order to apply it to the succession of James VL 
Tlie groundwork of the forgery is to be found in the prophecies of 
Borliugton, contained in the same collection, and runs thus :— 

• Of Brace's left side shall spring out a Icafo, 
As neero as the ninth defcreo; 
And shall be fleemcd of falre Scotland, 
In France farre l}eyond the sea. 

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And then shall come again ryding. 
With eyea that many men may see. 
At Aberladio he shall light, 
With hempon holtorcs and horse of tre. 

•Howeror it happen for to fall, 
Tho lyon shall be lord of all ; 
The French qnen shall bearro the eonno, 
Shall rule all Britainne to the sea; 
Ano from the Bruco's blood shal como algo, 
As neere as the ninth degree. 

* Yet shol there come a keene knight oyer the Fait loo, 
A kocno man of conrage and bold man of armoH ; 
A dake's son dowbled [i. f ., dubbed], a bom man in Franco, 
That shall onr mirths augment, and mend all our hannes ; 
After the date of onr Lord 1013, and thrice three thereafter, 
Which ehall brooko all the broad Isle to himsolf. 
Between 13 and thrice three the threip shall bo ended. 
The Saxons shall neyer recoTor after/ 

"Tliere cannot be any doubt that this prophecy was intcntlcd to 
excite the confidence of the Scottish nation in the Duke of Albany, 
Regent of Scotland, who arrived from France in 1515, two years after 
the death of James IV. in the fatal field of Flodden. The regent was 
descended of Bruce by the left, t. e., by the female side, within the 
ninth degree. His mother was daughter of the Earl of Bouloc^ne, his 
father banished from his country — * flecrait of fiur Scotland* His 
arrival must necessarily be by sea, and his landing was expected at 
Aberlady, in the Frith of Forth. He was a duke's son, dubbed 
knight ; and nine years, from 1513, are allowed him, by the i)retended 
prophet, for the accomplishment of the salvation of his country, and 
the exidtation of Scotland over her sister and rival. All this was a 
X)iou8 fraud, to excite the confidence and spirit of the country. 

" The prophecy put into the mouth of our Thomas the Khymer, as it 
stands in Hart's lx)ok, refers to a later period. The narrator meets 
the Rhymer upon a land beside a lee, who shows him many emble- 
matical visions, described in no mean strain of poetry. They chiefly 
relate to the fields of Flodden and Pinkie, to the national distress 
which followed these defeats, and to the future halcyon days which 
are promised to Scotland. One quotation or two will be sufficient 
to establish this fially : — 

' Onr Scottish king sal come fal kecno, 
The red lyon bearelh he ; 
A foddered arrow sharp, I ween, 
Shall make him winke and warro to seo. 
Oat of the field bo shall be led, 
When he is blndie and woe for blood; 
Yet to his men shall he say, 
^* For God's Ioto tnm yon againe. 
And give yon Snthemo folk a frcvl 
Why should I lose the right is mine? 
My date is not to die this day." ' 

" Who can doubt, for a moment, that this refers to the battle of 
Flodden, and to the popular reports concerning tibe doubtful fate of 
James IV. ? Allusion is immediately afterwards made to the death 

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of George Dotiglas, heir-apparent of Angus, who fought and fell with 
his sovereign : — 

* Tlie Btames three that day Rhall die, 
That boars the harte in silver sheen.' 

The well-known arms of the Douglas family are the heart and three 
stars. In another place, the battle of Pinkie is expressly mentioned 
by name : — 

'At Plnken Cluch there shall be split 

Much gentle blood that C&j ; 
There shall the bear lose the piillt, 

Aud the oogill bear it away.' 

"To the end of all this allegorical and mystical rhapsody, is 
interpolated, in the later edition by Andro Hart, a new edition of 
Berlington's verses, before quoted, altered and manufactured, so as to 
bear reference to the accession of James VI., which had just then 
taken place. The insertion is made with a peculiar degree of 
awkwardness, betwixt a question, put by the narrator, concerning 
the name and abode of the person who showed him these strange 
matters, and the answer of the prophet to that question : — 

' Then to the B(^!rne could I say, 

Where dwells thou, or in what conntric? 
[Or who shall rale ^e isle of Britaue, 

From the north to the south soy? 
A French qneene shall bear the sonno, 

Shall mle all Britaino to the sea; 
Which of the Brace's blood shall come, 

As neere as the nint degree : 
I f rained fast what was his name. 

Where that he came, from what countric.] 
In Erslin^oun I dwell at hame, 

Thomas Bsrmour men cats me.' 

" There is surely no one, who will not conclude with Lord Hailes, 
that the eight lines, inclosed in brackets, are a clumsy interpolation, 
borrowed from Berlingfcon, with such alterations as might render the 
supposed prophecy apj^cable to the union of the crowns. 

** While we are on this subject, it may be proper briefly to notice 
the scope of some of the other ])rediction8 in Hart's collection. As 
the prophecy of Berlington was intended to raise the spirits of the 
nation, during the regency of Albany, so those of Sybilla and Eltraiue 
refer to that of the Earl of Arran, sSterwards Duke of Chatelhcrault, 
during the minority of Mary, a period of similar cidamity. This is 
obvious from the following verses : — 

' Take a thousand in calculation, 
And the longest of the lyon, 
Four crescents under one crowne. 
With Saint Andrew's croce thrlse, 
Then threescore and thris three: 
Take tent to Mcrllng truel v. 
Then shall the wars ended bo, 
And ncTcr again risa 
In that yere there shall a king, 
A duke, aud no crowned kin;?: 
Bocaus the prinoo shall bo yong, 
Aud louder of yoaros.' 

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'*Tlie date, above hinted at, eeems to bo 1549, when the Scottish 
Regent, by means of some succours derived from France, was en- 
deavouring to repair the consequences of the fatal battle of Pinkie. 
Allusion is made to the sunply given to the ' Moldwarte [England] 
by the fained hart ' (the Earl of Angus). The regent is descri&d by 
his bearing the antelope ; large supplies are promised from France, 
and complete conquest predicted to Scotland and her allies. Thus 
was the same hackneyed stratagem repeated whenever the interest 
of the rulers appeared to stand in need of it. The regent was not, 
indeed, till after this |)eriod, created Duke of Chatcmerault ; but 
that honour was the object of his hopes and expectations. 

" The name of our renowned soothsayer is liberally used as an 
authority throughout all the prophecies published by Audro Hart. 
Besides those expressly put in his name, Gildas, another assumed 
personage, is supposed to derive his knowledge from him; for ho 
concludes thus:— 

* Tnie Thomas me told in a troublej^ome timo. 

In a horreat mom at Eldoon hills.*— rA« Froji^ectj of Gildas. 

" In the prophecy of Berlington, already quoted, we are told — 

* Marvellous Merlin, that many men of tells, 
And Thomafl's sayings comes all at once.' 

" While 1 am upon the subject of these prophecies, may I be per- 
mitted to call the attention of antiquaries to Merdwynn WyUt, lt 
Merlin the Wild, in whose name, and by no means in that of Ambrose 
Merlin, the friend of Arthur, the Scottish prophecies are issued ? 
That this personage resided at Drummelzier, and roamed, like a 
second Nebuchadnezzar, the woods of Tweeddalc, in remorse for the 
death of his nephew, we learn from Fordun. In the Scoti-Chronkon^ 
lib. iii. , cap. 31, is an account of an interview betwixt St. Kentigeru 
and Merlin, then in this distracted and miserable state. He is said 
to have been called Lailoken, from his mode of life. On being 
commanded by the saint to give an account of himself, he says, that 
the penance which he performs M'as imposed on him by a voice from 
heaven, during a bloody contest betwixt Lidcl and Carwanolow, of 
which battle he had been the cause. According to his own prediction, 
he perished at once by wood, earth, and water ; for, being pursued 
with stones by the rustics, he fell from a rock into the river Tweed, 
and was transfixed by a sharp stake, fixed there for the purpose of 
extending a fishing-net ; — 

•Slide porfoaRtis, lapido percussuB, ot nnda, 
Hocc tria Merlimun fertur inire nocom. 
Sicquo ruit, mersnsqae fuit lignoqne prehensus, 
Lt fecit Tatem per tema pericula vcmm.' 

"But in a metrical history of Merlin of Caledonia, compiled by 
Geofifrey of Monmouth, from the traditions of the Welsh bards, this 
mode of death is attributed to a page whom Merlin's sigter, desirous 
to convict the prophet of falsehood, because he had betrayed her 
intrigues, introduced to him, under three various disguises, inquiring 
each time in what manner the person should die. To the first 
demand Merlin answered, the party should perish by a fall from a rock ; 
to the second, that he should die by a tree; and to the third, that ho 

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Bhoiild be drowned. The youth perished while hunting, in the mode 
imputed by Fordun to Merlin himsel£ 

"Fordun, contrary to the French authorities, confounds this jxsr- 
Bon with the Merlin of Arthur; but concludes by informing ns, that 
many believed him to be a different person. The grave of Merlin is 
X>ointed out at Dmmmelzier, in Tweoddale, beneath an aged thorn* 
tree. On the east side of the churchyard, the brook, callM. Pausayl, 
falls into the Tweed ; and the following prophecy is said to have been 
current concerning their union : — 

' "When Tweed and Pansayl join at Merlin's grave, 
Scotland and England shall ono monarch havo.* 

On the day of the coronation of James VI., the Tweed accord- 
ingly overflowed, and joined the Pansayl at the prophet's grave. — 
Pennycuick's History of Tweeddak, p. 26. These circumstances 
would seem to infer a communication betwixt the south-west of 
Scotland and Wales, of a nature peculiarly intimate; for I presume 
that Merlin would retain sense enough to choose for the scene of his 
wanderings a country having a language and manners similar to his own. 
** Be this as it may, the memory of Merlin Sylvester, or the Wiltl, 
was fresh among the Scots during the reign of James V, Waldhave,* 
under whose name a set of prophecies was published, describes him- 
self as lying upon Lomond Law ; he hears a voice, which bids him 
stand to his defence; he looks around, and beholds a flock of hares 
and foxes pui-sued over the mountain by a savage figure, to whom ho 
can hardly give the name of a man. At the sight of Waldhave, the 
apparition leaves the objects of his jjursuit, and assaults him witii a 
club. Waldhave defends himself with his sword, throws the savage 
to the earth, and refuses to lot him arise till ho swear, by the law 
and lead ho lives upon, *to do him no harm.' This done, he x)ermits 
him to arise, and marvels at his strange api^earance : — 

'Ho was formed like a froike [man] all his four quarters; 
And then his chin and his face Iiairod so thick, 
With hairo growing so grime, fearful to see.' 

lie answers briefly to Waldhave' s inq^uiry concerning his name and 
nature, that he * drees his weird,* i,e.^ does penance in that wood; 
and, having hinted that questions as to his own state are offensive, he 
iwm's forth an obscure rhapsody concerning futurity, and concludes, — 

'Oo mu«ing npnn Morlin if thou wilt : 
For 1 mca.n no moro, man, at thia time' 

"This is exactly similar to the meeting betwixt Merlin and Ken- 
tigcrn in Fordun. These prophecies of ]Merlin seem to have been in 
recpiest in the minority of James V. ; for, among the amusements with 
which Sir David Lindsay diverteil that prince during his infancy, are, 

• The prophecies of Bymor, Bode, and Morlin.' 

—Sir David Lindisay's L'pUtle to the King. 

And we find, in Waldhave, at least one allusion to the very ancient 
prophecy, addressed to the Countess of Dunbar: — 

*This is a true token that Thoma<? of tolls, 
Vf lien a laddo witli a ladyo shall go over the fields/ 

* "I do not know whether the person hero meant bo Waldhave, an abbot of Mel- 
rose, who died, in the odour of sanctity, about IlGa"— S. 

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The original stands thus :-« 

' When laddos "WoJdcth lovo dies.' 

'' Another prophecy of Merlin seems to have been current al3ont the 
time of the Begcnt Moi*ton's execution. When that nobleman was 
committed to the charge of his accuser, Captain James Stewart, newly 
created Earl of Arran, to be conducted to his trial at Edinburgh, 
Spottiswoode says, that he asked, * " Who was Earl of Arran? " and 
being answered that Captain James was the man, after a short pause, 
he said, ** And is it so ? I know theu what I may look for ! " mean- 
ing, as was thought, that the old prophecy of the "Falling of the 
heart • by the mouth of Arran," should then be fulfilled. Whether 
this was his mind or not, it is not known ; but some spared not, at tho 
time when the Hamiltous were banished, in which business he was 
held too earnest, to say that he stood in fear of that prediction, and 
went that course only to disappoint it. But if so it was, he did find 
himself now deluded ; for he lell by the mouth of another Arran than 
he imagined.' — Spottiswoode ^ 313. The fatal words alluded to seem 
to be these, in the prophecy of Merlin ; — 

*In the ir.outho of Arrano a splrouth chn.\\ full, 
Two bloo.lie lic.iria s-luvll bo t:ilcen with a falbO traluc, 
And del fly duuij down without any dome.* 

** To return from these desultory remarks, into which I have been 
led by the celebrated name of Merlin, the style of all these prophecies, 
published by Hart, is very much the same. The measure is allitera- 
tive, and somewhat similar to that of Pierce Plowrmni's Visions ; a 
circumstance which might entitle us to ascribe to some of them an 
earlier date than the rei^ of James V., did we not know that Sir 
OaUoran of Galloway and Oawaine and OollograsSf two romances 
rendered almost unintelligible by the extremity of affected allitera- 
tion, are perhaps not prior to that period. Indeed, although we may 
allow, that, during much earlier times, prophecies, under the names of 
those celebrated soothsayers, have been current in Scotland, yet 
those pubUshed by Hart have obviously been so often vamped and 
revamped, to serve the political purposes of dififerent periods, that it 
may be shrewdly suspected, that, as in the case of Sir John Cutler*s 
transmigrated stockings, very little of the original materials now 
remains. I cannot refrain from indulging my readers with tho 
publisher's title to the last prophecy, as it contains certain curious 
information concerning the Queen of Shcba, who is identified with 
tho Cumsean Sibyl: *Here foUoweth a prophecie pronounced by a 
noble queene and matron, called Sybilla, Ec^^ina Austri, that came 
to Solomon. Through the wliich she compiled four bookcs, at tho 
instance of the said Kio^ Sol, and others divers ; and the fourth book 
was directed to a noble Kin^, called Baldwine, king of the broad isle 
of Britain ; in the which she maketh mention of two noble princes 
and emperours, the which is called Leones. How these two shall 
subdue and overcome all earthlie princes to their diademe and crowne, 
and also be glorified and crowned in the heaven among saints. The 
first of these two is Constantinus Magnus ; that was Lcprosus, the 
son of Saint Helena, that found.the ci^oce. The second is the sixt lung 

♦ "The heart was the cognizance of Morton."— SL 

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of the name of Steward of Scotland, the which, is our most noble 
king.' With such editors and commentators, what wonder that the 
text became uuintelligiblo, even beyond the usual oracular obscurity 
of prediction ? 

** If there still remains, therefore, among these predictions, any 
verses having a claim to real antiquity, it seems now impossible to 
discover them from those which are comparatively modern. Never- 
theless, as there are to be found, in these compositions, some un- 
commonly wild and masculine expressions, the editor has been 
induced to throw a few passages together, into the sort of ballad 
to which this disquisition is {irefixed. It would, indeed, have beeu 
no dilBcult matter for him, by a judicious selection, to have excited, 
in favour of Thomas of Ercildoune, a share of the admiration 1)estowcd 
by sundry wise persons upon Mass Tvobcrt Fleming.* For example : — 

* Bat then tho lilye shall be loased when they least think; 
Then clear king's blood shal qoake for fear of death; 
For churls shal chop off heads of their chief beirns. 
And cai-fe ot the crowns that Christ hath appointed. 

Thereafter, on every side, sorrow shall arise: 
The barges of clear barons down shal be sonkcn; 
Seculars shal sit in spiritual seats, 
Occupying offices anointed as they wer?.' 

" Taking the lily for the emblem of France, can there be a more 
plain prophecy of the murder of her monarch, the destruction of her 
nobility, and the desolation of her hierarchy? 

"But, without looking further into the signs of the times, the 
editor, though the least of all the prophets, cannot help thinking, 
that every true Briton 'will approve of his application of the hub 
prophecy quoted in the ballad. 

** Hart's collections of prophecies were frequently reprinted during 
the last century, probably to favour the pretensions of the unfortunate 
f^imily of Stuart. For the prophetic renown of Gildas and Bede, sco 
Fordun, lib. iii 

** Before leaving the subject of Thomases predictions, it may be 
noticed, that sunary rhymes, passing for his prophetic effusions, are 
still current among the vulgar Thus, he is said to have prophesied 
of the very ancient family of Haig of Bemerside : — 

* Betide, betldo, whatc'cr betide, 
Uaig shall be Haig of B. mcr^^ido.* 

"The grandfather of the present proprietor of Bemerside had 
twelve daughters, before his lady brought him a male heir. The 
common people trembled for the credit of their favourite soothsayer. 
The late Mr. Haig was at length born, and theii* belief in the pro- 
jihecy confirmed l)eyond a shadow of doubt 

"Another memorable prophecy bore that the Old Kirk at Kelso, 
constructed out of the ruins of the abbey, should * fall when at the 
fullest.' At a very crowded sermon, about thirty years ago, a piece 

• Author of Discourses on the Rise ard Fall o/rapaey, London, 1701. The Herolo- 
tious of 17t>9, ISvD, and ISIS, attracted considerable attention to the work namecl 

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of lime fell from the roof of the church. The alarm, for the fulfil- 
ment of the words of the seer, became universal, and happy were they 
who were nearest the door of the predestined edifice. The chnrch 
was in consequence deserted, and has never since had an oppor- 
tunity of tumbling upon a full con^gation. I hope, for the sake 
of a beautiful specmien of Saxo-Gothio architecture, that the accom- 
plishment of this prophecy is far distant. 

'* Another prediction, ascribed to the Rhymer, seems to have been 
founded on that sort of insight into futurity, possessed by most men 
of a sound and combining judgment. It runs thus :— 

' At Eldon troo if you shall be, 
A brigg ower Tweed you there may see. 

"The snot in question commands an extensive prospect of the 
course of the river ; and it was easy to foresee, that wnen the country 
should become in the least degree improved, a bridge would be some- 
where thrown over the stream. In fact, you now see no less than 
three bridges from that elevated situation. 

'' Corspatrick (Comes Patrick), Earl of March, but more commonly 
taking his title from his castle of Dunbar, acted a noted part durin? 
the waiTt of Edward I. in Scotland. As Thomas of Ercildoune is said 
to have delivered to him his famous prophecy of King Alexander's 
death, the editor has chosen to introduce him into the following 
ballad. All the prophetic verses are selected from Hart*s publica- 
tion."— Sir Walter Scott. The notes to the text are also his. 

1 When seven years wero come and ganc, 

The Bun blink'd fair on pool and stream ; 
And Thomas lay on Huntlio bank, 
Like one awakenM from a dream. 

2 lie heard the trampling of a steed, 

He saw the flash of armour flee, 
And he beheld a gallant knirfit, 
Come riding down by the Eildon tree. 

3 He was a stalwart knight, and strong, 

Of ^iant make he 'pear'd to be ; 
He stirr*d his horse, as he were wode, 
With gilded spurs of fashion free. 

4 Says — " Well met, well met, True Thomas ! 

Some uncouth ferlies show to me." 
Says — " Christ thee save, Corspatrick brave ! 
Thrice welcome, good Dunbar, to me ! 

5 " Light down, light down, Corspatrick brave I 

And I will show thee curses three, 
Shall gar fair Scotland greet and grane, 
And change the green to the black liverio. 

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6 "A Btonn shall roar this very hour, 

From Ross's hills to Sol way sea." 
" Ye lied, ye lied, ye warlock hoar I 
For the sun shines sweet on fauld and lea." 

7 He put his hand on the Earlie's head ; 

He showed him a rock beside the sea, 
Where a king lay stiff beneath his steed,* 
And steel-dight nobles wiped their e*e. 

8 '* The neist curse lights on Branxton hills : 

By Flodden's high and heathery side 
Shall wave a banner red as bluid. 
And chieftains throug with meiklo pride. 

9 "A Scottish king shall come full keen, 

The ruddy lion beareth he ; 
A feather'd arrow sharp, I ween, 
Shall make him wink and warre to see. 

10 " When he is bloody, and all to bledde. 

Thus to his men he still shall say, — 
* For God's sake, turn ye back again, 

And give yon Southern folk a fray I 
Why should I lose the right is mine ? 

My doom is not to die this day.' f 

11 "Yet turn ye to the eastern hand, 

And woe and wonder ye shall sec ; 
How forty thousand spearmen stand, 
Where yon rank river meets the sea. 

12 " There shall the lion lose the gylto, 

And the libbards bear it clean away ; 
At Pinkyn Clench there shall be spilt 
Much gentil bluid that day." 

13 " Enough, enough of curse and ban ; 

Some blessings show thou now to me. 
Or, by the faith of my body," Corspatrick said, 
" Ye shall rue the day ye e'er saw me ! " 

* '^Elng AlezAnder, uacd (March 16, 12S5-6) by falUng OTor a cliff; near KUighom, 
In File, and opposite Edinbargh." 

t •« The nncertainty which long preyailed in Scotland concerning the fate of Jamoa 
IV. is weil known." 

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14 '* The first of blessings I shall thee show, 

Is by a burn, that ^ caird of bread ; • 
Where Saxon men shall tine the bow, 
And find their arrows lack the head. 

15 *' Beside that brigg, out ower that bum, 

Where the water bickereth bright and sheen, 
Shall man J a falling courser spurn, 
And knights shall die in battle keen. 

IG " Beside a headless cross of stone. 

The libbards there shall lose the gree ; 

The raven shall come, the erne shaU go, 
And drink the Saxon bluid sae free. 

The cross of stone they shall not know. 
So thick the corses there shall be." 

17 ** But tell me now," said brave Dunbar, 

" True Thomas, tell now unto me. 
What man shall rule the isle Britain, 
Even from the north to the southern scaV " 

18 "A French queen shall bear the son, 

Shall rule all Britain to the sea ; 

He of the Bruce*s blood shall come. 

As near as in the ninth degree. 

19 " The waters worship shall his race, 

Likewise the waves of the farthest sea ; 
For they shall ride over ocean wide, 
With hempen bridles and horse of tree." 


The followix^ remarkable tale is preserved iu three or more ancienfc 
manuscripts, aU of thorn more or less mutilated. The verbed differ- 
ences between the copies are numerous but unimi)ortant. The three 
principal MS. copies are deposited in the libraries, and have been 
printed respectively in the works mentioned under: — 

I. The Cotton MS. copy, in the British Museum, first printed 
in Scott's MinstreUyy vol iv., p. 122. 

* " One of Thomu's rbymes, preserved by tradition, nxoB tbiu :— 

'Thebnmof breid 
Shall run fow reid.' 

Bannockbam is the brook here meant The Scots give tho zmme of 'boxmock* to 
» tbick round cako of unleavenod bread.'* 

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11. The Cambridge Univeraity library MS. copy, first printed 
in Mr. Jamieson's Popular Ballads, &c., voL iL, p. 11, as 
'* carefully deciphered," says Mr. Laing, '*from a Tolume 
of no ordinary curiosity, .... written in a very 
illegible hand, about the middle of the loth century." 

III. The Lincoln Cathedral Library MS. copy, first printed by 
Mr. David Laing, in his Select Remains of the Ancient 
PoptUar Poetry of Scotland, From "a volume compiled 
at a still earlier period " than the Cambridge MS. 

"In the Cambridge MS. none of the pieces have any titles; the 
Cotton copy is prefaced by Incipit propnesia Thome de Erseldoun; 
and the Lincoln MS. is entitled Thomas off Ersektoune, and is in- 
troduced in the following manner : — 

* Lystnye, lordyngs, bothe greto and small, 

And takis gnde tento what I will say: 
I sail yow telle als trewe a tale, 
Als euer was herde by nyghte or daye. 

* And the maste mernelle fforowttyn naye, 

That euer was herde byfore or syen, 
And therefore pristly 1 yow praye, 
That ye will of youre talkyng blyn. 

*It es an hardo thvnge for to sayo, 

Of doghety deals that base been done; 
Of felle feghtyngs and batells sere; 
And how toat ImyghUs basse wonno thair schona 

* But Tbofm Christ, that syttis in trone, 

Safe Inelysche bothe len-e and nere; 
And I sail telle yow tyte and sone. 
Of batells done sythen many a yere; 

'And of batollg that dono sail bee; 

In what place, and how and wharo; 
And wha BhaU have the heghore gree ; 

And whethir partye sail hafe the werro. 

* Wha sail take the flyghte and flee; 

And wha sail dye and byleue tharo: 
Bnt Ihesu Christ, tliat dyed on tre, 
Saue Inglysche men wharo so they faro.' 

"From the prayer with which this exordium concludes, it may 
fairly be inferred that the writer was an Englishman ; and the pro- 
phetic jpart of the piece has been evidently mtended to be used as 
an engme against the Scots. In the introduction to the prophecies, 
however, there is so much more fancy and elegance taan in the 
prophecies themselves, that they can hardly be supposed to be the 
composition of the same person. Indeed, the internal evidence to 
the contrary almost amounts to a proof that they are not, and that 
the romance itself was of Scotish origin ; although no imdubitably 
Scotish copy, so far as the editor knows, is now in existence. He has 
been told, but upon what authority he knows not, that there was a 
copy in the late kind's * library at Paris, but uncertain of what 
country. ... It is remarkable, that in all the three copies now 
before him, the poet begins the story in the Jirst person, and seems 
• Louis S.VL, vicllm of tho flrpt French revolution. 

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dlBposed to tell tlie incidents, as if they had really happened to himsel£ 
(See stanzas 1 to 10. ) And although he afterwards, awkwardly and un- 
naturally enough, speaks of Thomas as a third j>er8on, yet even then 
he seems to insinuate, that the story, which he is garbling, was told 
b^ another before him. (See stanza 14.) If he assumes the mask 
with a bad grace here, he shows still less address when he drops it 
again at stanza 51. 

''Would it not be pardonable, from such instances as these, to 
8up]X)se it at least probable, that Thomas Hymour was really the 
oriffinal author of this romance ; and that in order to give a sanction 
to his predictions, which seem all to have been calculated in one way 
or other for the service of his country, he pretended to an intercourse 
with the Queen of Elfland, as Numa Pompilius did with the nymph 
Egeria? Such an intercourse, in the days of True Thomas, was 
accounted neither unnatural nor uncommon. 

''As both the English and the Scots availed themselves of the 
credit which his prophecies had obtained, in faUifyin^^ them, to serve 
their purposes against each other, it is now impossible to ascertain 
what the real prophecies of Thomas Rymour were, if ever he pub- 
lished any such. But as it would have been a measure of good policy 
to preserve as entire as possible the original introduction, from which 
the predictions were to derive their authority, it may be presumed 
that fewer liberties were taken with it ; that, notwithstanding the 
mutilated state in which we have found it, the general synmietry, 
and many of the original stamina, remain ; and that it has not suffered 
more from the license assumed by transcribers and reciters than 
other romances of that age have done. 

" ' As to the romance itself,' says Scott, ' it will afford great 
amusement to those who would study the nature of traditional 
poetry, and the changes effected by oral tradition, to conipare this 
ancient romance with the foregoing (traditional) ballad. The same 
incidents are narrated, even the expression is often the same; yet 
the poems are as different in appearance as if the older tale had been 
regularly and systematically modernized by a x>oe^ of the present 
day.* "-— Jamieson's Popular Ballads, vol. ii., pp. 3-7. 

Both Mr. Jamieson and Mr. David Laing print their respective 
versions of this ancient poem entire. 

But in the text which follows, and which has been collated from 
all three copies, only the introductory portion, or First Fytte, is given, 
with the aadition of stanzas 59, 60, and 61, from the commencement 
of the Second FyUe; and of 62, 63, and 64, from the close of the Third 

The orthography has been modernized in the case of such words as 
are still in use either in England or Scotland, but the veritable words 
of the originals are retained. 

1 As I me went this Andrew's day, 

Fast on my way, making my moan, 
In a merry morning of May, 
B^ ^UQtl7's banks myself alon9| 

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2 I heard the jay and the throstle, 
The mavis menyed* in her song, 
The wodewale beryd* as a bell, 
That all the wood about me rung. 

8 Alone in longing thus as I lay, 
Underneath a seemly tree, 
Saw I where a ladye gay 
Came riding o'er a lonely lea. 

4 If I shou'd sit till Domisday, 

All with my tongue to Imow and see, 
Certainly all her array 
It shall never be 'scryed® for me. 

6 Her palfrey was a dapple gray, 
Like it saw I never none; 
As does the sun on summer's day, 
That fair ladye herself she shone. 

6 Iler saddle it was of royal bone, ** 

Full seemly was that sight to see! 
Stiffly set with precious stone, 
Compassed about with cramoisie. ' 

7 Stones of orience, great plentie, 

Her hair about her head it hung: 
She rode over that lonely^ lea, 
Awhile she blew, awhile she sung. 

8 Her girths of noble silk they were. 

The buckles they were of beryl stone ; 
Her stirrups were of crystal clear. 
And all with pearls o'er bedone. 

9 Her patrel was of irale fine, ^ 

Her crupper was of orfard,* 
Her bridle was of gold [sae] fine ; 
On every side [there] hung bells three. 

* " The maTiB menyod: ** the thrnsh lamented. 

* ft ^ The wodewale beryd: " the woodpecker made a noise. 
" 'Scryed : " described, 
tf »Boyal bone: ** pure ivory. 

• '*Orapotee,** Lincoln MS.; "Crapste," Cotton Ma 
: /**Femyle " (ferny lee), Cotton MS. 

9 **Her patrol, Ac.: " ie., the plate protecting the chest of her etoed was of steel Of 
iron fine. 
^ "Olftrtf: '* emhroidery. 

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10 She led seven greyhounds in a leash, 

And seven raches" by her feet ran. 
To speak with her I wou'd not press; 
Her bree was as white as any swan. 

11 She bare a horn ahont her halee, 

And under her girdle many a flonne. • 
Forsooth, lordlings, as I you tell, 
Thus was this ladye fair bedone. 

12 Thomas lay and saw that sight. 

Underneath a seemly tree; 
He said — " Yon is Mary of might, 
That bare the child that died for me. 

13 " But I speak with that ladye bright, 

I hope my heart will burst in three; 
But I will go with all my might, 
Her for to meet at Eildon tree I" 

14 Thomas rathely * up he raise, 

And ran over that mountain Iiie ; 
And if it be sooth, as the story says, 
He her met at the Eildon tree. 

V) He kneeled down upon his knee, 

Underneath the greenwood spray ; 
And said — " Lovely ladye, rew* on me. 
Queen of heaven, as thou well may ! " 

IG Then said that ladye, mild of thought, — 
" Thomas, let such wordSs be ; 
Queen of heaven am I not, — 
I took never so high degree. 

17 " But I am ladye of another countrie ; 

If I be parell'd most of price, 
I ride after the wild^ fee,* 
My raches rinnin' at my device." 

18 "If thou be parell'd most of price, 

And ridest here in thy folly. 
Lovely ladye, as thou art wise, 
Then give me leave to lye by thee." 

a » Baches: " scenting hoondB. 
h "Flonno:" arrowy. 
« " Bathely: " readily, or quickly. 
* " Bew," or •* rue ; " bftTO pity. 
!"Fwr' dw. 

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19 " Do way, Thomas, « that were folly! 

I pray thee heartily, let me be, 
For I say thee full sikerlv,* 
That sin will fordo « all my beaatie." 

20 " Now, lovely ladye, rew on me, 

And I shall ever with thee dwell ; 
Here my troth I plight to thee, 
Whether thou wilt to heaven or helll" 

21 " Man of mold, thou wilt me mar, 

And yet but you may have your will ; 
Trow you well thou choosest the waur, * 
For all my beautie thou wilt spill." 

22 Thomas stood up in that stead, 

And beheld that ladye gay ; 
The hair that hung upon her head, 
The one half black, the other gray. 

23 All her rich clothing was away, 

That he before saw in that stead ; 
Her een scem'd out, that were so gray, 
And all her body like the lead. 

24 Then Thomas sigh'd and said — " Alas I 

In faith, this is a doleful sight ; 
How art thou faded thus in the face, 
That shone before as the sun so bright?" 

25 She said — " Take thy leave of sun and moon. 

Of grass and leaves that grow on tree: 
This twelvemonth shalt thou with me gono, 
And middle earth thou shalt not see." 

26 He kneeled down upon his knee, 

To Mary mild he made his moan : 
" Ladye, but that thou rew on me. 
All my games frae me are gone I 

27 " Alas ! " he said, " and woe is me! 

I trow my deeds will work me woe: 
Jesul my soul beteche* I thee, 
Wheresoever my body go 1" 

« " Soho sayde, » The man.' "— I4nQ0ln M3. «« " Waur: " worse. 

* " Sikerly J " certainly, truly, ♦ " ^teche;" wmmenci. 

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28 She led him in at Eildon hill, 

Underneath the greenwood tree,* 
Where it was dark as midnight mirk, 
And ever in water to the knee. 

29 There the space of day^s three, 

He heard but soughing* of the flood; 
At the last, he said — " Full woe is me; 
Almost I die, for fault of food I" 

80 She led him into a fair herbere, 

Where fruit was growing in great plentie ; 
Pears and apples both ripe they were, 
The date, and also the damson tree. 

81 The tig, and also the wine-berry. 

The nightingales lying on their nest ; 
Tlie popinjays fast about 'gan fly, 

And throstles song, wou'd have no rest 

32 He pressM to pull the fruit with his hand. 
As man for food that was near faint ; 
She said — " Thomas, thou lot them stand, 
Or else the fiend will thee attaint. 

83 " If thou [them] pull, the sooth to eay. 
Thy soul goes to the fire of hell ; 
It comes never out till Domisday, 
But there in pain aye for to dwell. 

34 " [But] Thomas, soothly, I thee hight; 

Come, lay thy head down on my knee, 
And thou shalt see the fairest sight 
That ever saw man of thy countriel" 

35 He did in haste as she him bade, 

His head upon her knee he laid; 
For her to please he was full glad; 
And then that ladye to him said: 

86 " See'st thou, Thomas, yon fair way 

That lyes over yonder high mountayne? 
Strait is the way to heaven for aye, 
AVhen sinful souls have dree'd their pain. 

« "TTnderne&fhe a derne lee."— Lincoln MS. 
•*nndir nethe the deme lee.**— Cotton MS. 
h " Soughing : " sounding. *• S waghynge," Lincoln Ma ; " swowyng,** Cotton Ma 
"There is something nncommonly romantic and poetical in Thomxi.s'8 going under 
groond with the queen of Eliland, as ^neas does with the Sibyl,— marching for three 
days in ^tchy darkness, and hearing nothing hut the sweehyng and twfwyng^-i^ «., 
i^Dglog aiiAoo^iniDg-^^r tbQ wayeo oyer his bead." Wamleson. 

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87 " See'st thou now, Tliomas, yonder way, 

That lyes so low under yonder rise? 
Yon is the way, the sooth to say, 
Unto the joy of Paradise. 

88 " See*Bt thou yet yonder third way, 

That lyes over yon green plain? 
Ton is the way, the sooth to say, 
That sinful souls shall pass to pain. 

39 " But see'st thou yonder fourth way, 

That lyes over yonder fell ?• 
Wide is the way, the sooth to say,* 
Unto the burning fire of hell I 

40 " See'st thou now yonder fair castell, 

That stands upon yon fair hill? 
Of town and tow'r it beareth the bell; 
In middle earth is none like ther' till.' 

41 "In sooth, Thomas, yon is mine own, 

And the king's of this countrie; 
But me were better be hanged and drawn. 
Than he wist that thou lay by me I 

42 " When thou comest to yon castell gay, 

I pray thee courteous man to be; 
And whatsoe'er any man to thee say. 
Look that thou answer none but me. 

43 " My lord is served at ilka mess 

With thirty knights [sae] fair and free ; 
And I shall say, sitting at the dais, 
I took thy speech beyond the sea.* 

44 Thomas stood as still as a stone,' 

And beheld that ladye gay; 

Then she was fair and rich anon,-' 

And also rode on her palfray. 

45 Uer greyhounds filled with deer's blood, 

Her raches coupled, by my fay ; 
She blew her horn with main and mood, 
And to the castell she took the way. 

" " Oner yone depo dello ? "--Lincoln MS. 

• " So waylaway©.**— Lincoln liS. 

• "In earthe es none lyk it vntlll"— Lincoln MS. 
« •• Lee."— Cotton and Cambridge MSS. 

• " Still als stone be 8tudo.*'»Lincoln and Cambridge MS9. 
/ " Scho came i^y&e als faire and gnde/WLincoln MS, 

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46 Into a hall Boothly she went, 

ThomaB followed at her hand; 
Ladyes came both fair and gent, 
Full courteously to her kneeland.* 

47 Harp and fiddle both they fand, 

Gnittem, and also the psaltry, 

The lute and rebeck, both gangand, 

And all manner of minstrelsy. 

48 Knights were dancing by three and three; 

There was revel, both game and play; 
Lovely ladyes, fair and free, 
Dancing with them * in rich array. 

49 The greatest ferlie « there, Thomas thought, 

When thirty harts lay on [the] floor. 
And as many deer in were brought, 
That were both largely long and store. 

50 Raches lay lappand in deer's blood; 

The cooks they stood with dressing-knifO| 
Brittling the deer as they were wode,** 
Revel was among them rife. 

51 There was revel, both game and play, 

More than I you say, pardie, 
Till it fell upon a day 
My lovely ladye said to me : 

b'2 " Busk thee, Thomas, for thou must be gone. 
For here no longer may'st thou be; 
Hie thee fast, with might and main, 
I shall thee bring to the Eildon tree." 

53 Thomas answered with heavy cheer, 

" Lovely ladye, thou let me bo, 
For certamly I have been here 
Nought but the space of days three! " 

54 " For sooth, Thomas, as I thee tell. 

Thou hast been here seven year and more; 
But longer here thou may not dwell, 
The skill I will thee tell wherefore. 

• **En«eland:** kneeling. 

» ** Sat and sang.'*— Lincoln and Cotton HS3. 

p "Ferlie:" wonder, 


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65 " To-morrow of hell the foul fiend 

Among these folk shall choose his fee ; 
Thou art a fair man and a hend, 
I trow fall well he wou'd choose thee I 

66 " For all the gold that ever might be, 

Frae heaven unto the world's end, 
Thou be'st never betray'd for me; 
Therefore with me I rede thee wend." 

57 She brought him again to the Eildon tree, 
IFnderneath the greenwood spray; 
In Huntly banks there for to be, 
Where birds sing both night and day. 

68 " Far out over yon mountain gray, 
Thomas, a falcon makes her nest; 
A falcon is an eagle's prey, v 

For they in place will have no rest.* 

59 "Farewell, Thomas; I wend my way; 
I may no longer stand with thee." 
" Give me some token, ladye gay, 
That I may say I spake with thee." 

CO " To harp and carp, wheresoever yc gone, 
Thomas, take thee these with tlieo." 
" Harping," said he, *' ken I none. 
For tongue is the chief of miustrelsie I " 

CI " If thou wilt spell,t or tal5s tell, 

Thomas, thou never shall make Ice: 
Wheresoever thou go, to frith or fell, 
I pray thee speak never no ill of me." 

C2 Then True Thomas a sorry man was he, 
The tears ran out of his ecn gray : 
" Lovely ladye, yet tell to me, 
If we shall part for ever and aye? " 

C3 " Nay; when thou sittest at Ercildoune, 
To Huntly bank thou take thy way, 
And then shall I be ready boun' 
To meet thee, Thomas, if that I may." 

• "Thomas" seoms to be Uoro reprosentod by the "falcon." and tho "foal flond" 
by the *' eagle: " "Thomas" being in as much danger from the Tisitation of the one, 
as the "falcon" would be from that of the other. 

"The elfln qaeen« after restoring Thomas to earth, ponrs forth a string of prophe- 
cies, in which we distinguish references to the events and personages of the Scottish 
wars of Edward IIL The batUes of Duplin and Halidon are mentioned, and also 
Black Agnes, Countess of Dnnbar."~Soo&t. 

t "This is the real word which in Scotland has now talcen th$ form of ikm."— 

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G4 She blew her horn on her palfray, 
And left Thomas at Eildon tree ; 
Till Helmesdale she took her way, 
And thus parted that ladye and ho. 


From Scott's Minstrelsy , vol. L, p. 308. 

" This ballad^ notwithstanding its present appearance, has a claim to 
verv high antiquity. It has been preserved by tradition ; and is, 
perhaps, the most authentic instance of a long and very old poem 
exclusively thus preserved. It is only known to a few old people 
upon the sequestered banks of the Ettrick; and is published as 
written down from the recitation of the mother of Mr. James Hogg,* 
who sings, or rather chants it, with great animation. She leameothe 
ballad from a blind man, who died at the advanced age of ninety, and 
is said to have been possessed of much traditionary knowledge. 
Although the languan;e of this poem is much modernized, yet many 
words, which the reciters have retained without understandmg them, 
still preserve traces of its antiquity. Such are the words springals 
(corruptedly pronounced springvKills)^ sowies, poricuUize^ and many 
other appropriate terms of war and chivalry, which could never 
have been introduced by a modem ballad-maker. The incidents are 
striking and well managed ; and they are in strict conformity witii 
the manners of the age in which they are placed. 

*' The date of the ballad cannot be ascertained with any degree of 
accuracy. Sir Bichard Maitland, the hero of the poem, seems to have 
been in possession of his estate about 1250 ; so that, as he survived 
the commencement of the wars betwixt England and Scotland, in 
12%, his prowess against the English, in defence of his castle of 
Lauder or Thirlestane, must have b^n exerted during his extreme old 
age. He seems to have been distinguished for devotion as well as 
valour; for, a.d. 1249, Dominus Hicardus de Mautlant gave to the 
Abbey of Drybui^h, 'Terras suas de Haubeutside, interritorio suo 
do Tmrlestaue, pro salute animos suoe, et sponsoo sua;, antecessorum 
suorum et successorum suorum, in perpetuum. ' f He also gave to the 
same convent, ' Omnes terras, quas WaJteras de Gilling tenuit in 
feodo suo de Thirlestane et pastura incommuni de Thirlestane, ad 
quadraginta oves, sexaginta vaccas, et ad vigioti equos.' — Cartulary 
of Dryourgh Abbey, in the Advocated Library, 

''From the following ballad, and from the fEiniily traditions 
referred to in the Maitland MSS., Auld Maitland appears to have had 
three sons ; but we learn from the latter authority, that only one 

* This old woTnan is still alive, and at present resides at Craig of Douglas, In 
Selkirkshire (1805).— The mother of the " Ettrick Shepherd ** is now deceased (1820). 

t There exists also an indenture, or bond, entered into by Patrick, Abbot of 
Eelsan, and his convent, referring to an engagement betwixt them and Sir Bichard 
Maitland, and Sir WilUuu, his eldest son, concerning the lands of Hedderwicke and 
the pastnrages of Thirlestane and Blvthe. This Patrick was Abbot of Eelso betwixt 

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survived him, who was thence sunuuned Bnrd-alane, which signifies 
either unequalled, or solitary. A 'Consolation,' addressed to Sir 
Bichard Maitland of Lethington, a poet and scholar who flonrished 
about the middle of the sixteenth century, and who ^ves name to the 
Maitland MSS., draws the following parallel betwixt his domestic 
nilsfortunes and those of the first Sir Kichard, his great ancestor: — 

* Sic dostanie and derfe doToiiiig deid 
Oft his own hoos in haaaiil put of auld ; 
Bot your forbeirls, frovard fortunes steid 
And bitter blastes ay boir with breistis banld; 
Lnit wanwelrdis work and waiter as they wald, 
Thair bardie hairtia, hawtle and heroik, 

For f ortonnes feld or force wald never fenld. 

But Btormia withstand with stomak stout and stoik. 

* Renowned Eichertof your race record, 
Quhai prals and prowls cannot be ezprost; 
Hair lustie lynvage nevir haid ane lord, 
For he begat the banldest baimla and best, 
Malst manful men, and madinis most modesit 
That ever wes syn Pyramus son of Troy, * 
But piteouBlle thai peirles herles a pest 
Bereft him all bot Buird-allane, a boy. 

* Himselfe was alget, his hous hang be a har, 
Dnill and dlstres almaist to deid him draife; 
Tet Burd-allane. his only son and air, 
As wretched, vyiss, and valient, as the laive. 
His hous uphaird, quhilk ye with honor halve. 
Bo nature tliat the lyk invyand name. 
In kindlie cair dois kindly courage craif ,* 
To follow him in fortoune and in fame. 

' Richerd he wea. Richord ye are also, 
And MaiUand ala, and magnonime ar ye; 
In als great age, als wrappit are in wo, 
Sewln sons f ye haid might contravaiU his thria, 
Bot Burd-allane ye halve behind as he: 
The lord his linage so inlarge in lyne. 
And mony hundreith nepotis grie and griet 
Sen Eicliirt wes as hunureth yeiris we hyne.' 

—An Consolator Ballad, to the Richi HonorahiU Sir 
Richert Maitland of LetMngtoune,— MaiUand 
MSS, in Library of Edinburgh University, 

'* Sir William Mautlant, or Maitland, the eldest and sole surviving 
son of Sir Hichard, ratified and confirmed, to Uie monks of Drybufgh, 
' Omnes terras quas Dominus Kicardus de Mautlant pater suus fecit 
dictis monachis in territorio suo de Thirlestana* Sir William ia 
supposed to have died about 1316.— Crawford's Peerage. 

" Such were the heroes of the ballad. The castle of Thirlestane ia 

*/.«., Similar family distress demands the same family courage. 

t "Sewln sons"— this must include sons-in-law: for the last Sir Richard, like Ma 
rredecesBor, had only Uireo sons, namely,— L ■WilUam, the famous secretary of 
Queen Mary; II. Sir John, who alone survived him, and -Is the Burd-allane of Old 
Consolation; IH. Thomas, a youth of great hopes, who died in Italy. But he had 

n* married to gentlemen of fortune.— Finkerton's List (^ Scottish PoeH^ 

% " Grio and grio : " in regular descent ; from gre, French. 

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sitnated nj^n the Leader, near the town of Lauder. Whether the 
present building, which was erected by Chancellor Maitland, and 
unproved by the Duke of Lauderdale, occupies the site of tiie ancient 
castle, I do not know ; but it still merits tne epithet of a ' darksome 
house.' I find no notice of the siege in history ; but there is nothing 
improbable in supposing that the castle, during the stormy period A 
the Baliol wars, may have held out against the English. The creation 
of a nephew of Edward L, for the pleasure of slaying him by the 
hand of young Maitland, is a poetical license;* and may induce us 
to place the date of the composition about the reign of David U., or 
of nis successor, when the real exploits of Maitland, and his sons, 
were in some degree obscured, as well as magnified, by the lapse of 
time. The inveterate hatred against the English, founded upon the 
usurpation of Edward L , glows m every line of the ballad. 

** Auld Maitland is placed by Gawain Douglas, bishop of Dunkeld, 
among the popular heroes of romance, in his allegorical * Palice of 
Honour:* — 

* I saw Baf CoOyear with his thrawln brow, 
Crablt John the Beif, and anld GowUlbeiB Bow: 
And how the wran cam out of Alleeay, 
And Piers Plowman, that meld his workmen few : 
Great Oowmocmorne, and Fin Mac Cowl, and how 
They suld be goddls in Ireland, as they say. 
Thair saw 1 Maitland upon auld belrd gray, 
Robin Hude, and Gilbert with the quhite hand, 
How Hay of Nauchton flew in Madin land.' 

In this curious verse, the most noted romances, or popular histories 
of the poet's day, seem to be noticed. The preceding stanza describes 
the sports of the field ; and that which follows refers to the tricks of 
jugailrie ; so tiiat the three verses comprehend the whole pastimes of 
the nuddle ages, which are aptly represented as the furniture of Dame 
Venus s chamber. The verse, referring to Maitland, is obviously cor- 
rupted; the true reading was probably, 'with his auld beird gray.* 
Lideed, the whole verse is fall of errors and corruptions ; which is the 
greater pity, as it conveys information to be found nowhere else. 

"The descendant of Auld Maitland, Sir Richard of Lethington, 
seems to have been frequently complimented on the popular renown 
of his great ancestor. We have already seen one instance ; and in an 
elegant copjr of verses in the Maitland MSS., in praise of Sir Kichard's 
seat of Lethington, which he had built, or greatly improved, this ob- 
vious topic of flattery does not escape the poet From the terms of 
his panegyric we learn, that the exploits of auld Sir lUchard with the 
gray beaia, and of his three sons, were ' sung in many a fax countrie, 
albeit in rural rhyme;' from which we mav infer, that they were 
narrated rather in the shape of a popular ballad, than in a romance 
of price. If this be the case, the song now published may have 
imdergone little variation since the date of the Maitland MSS. ; for, 
divesting the poem, 4n praise of Lethington, of its antique spelling, 

* Such liberties with the genealogy of monarchs were common to romancers. 
Heniy the Minstrel makes Wallace slay more than dhe of King Edward's nephews; 
and Johnle Anofitrosg claims the morit of slaying a sister's son of Henry YliL 

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it would run as smoothly, and appear as modern, as any verse in the 
following ballad. The Unes alludod to are addressed to the cwUe of 

* And hftppf e art thon bIc a place, 

That few thy maik are aene ! 
Bat yit malr happie far that race 

To quhome thoa dots pertene. 
Qoha aois not knaw thellaitlaDd blnld. 

The best in aU this land? 
In qnhilk samtyme the honoor staid 

And worship of Scotland. 

'Of anid Sir Bichard, of that namo, 

We have hard sing and say ; 
or his triumphant nobiU fame, 

And of his auld baird gray, 
And of his nobill sonnls three, 

Quhllk that time had no moik ; 
Quhilk maid Scotland renomiit bo, 

And all England to qnaik. 

' Quhals laiiing pray sis, made trowUe 

Efter that slmplo tyme, 
Ar smig in monie far coontrie, 

Albeit in rural rhyme. 
And, gir 1 dar the treuth decUdr, 

And nane me fleitschour call, 
I can to him find na compalr, 

And till his bamis all* 

" It is a curious circumstance, that this interesting tale, bo often 
referred to by ancient authors, should be now recovered in so perfect 
a state ; and many readers may bo pleased to see the following sen- 
sible observations, made by a person bom in Ettrick Forest, in the 
humble situation of a shephcid : — * I am surprised to hear that this 
song is suspected by some to bo a modem forgery; the contrary will 
be best proved, by most of the old people, hereabouts, having a great 
part of it by heart Many, indeed, are not aware of the manners of 
this country ; till this present age, the poor illiterate i)eople, in these 
glens, knew of no other entertainment^ m the long winter nights, than 
repeating, and listening to, the feats of their ancestors, recorded in 
songs, which I believe to be handed down, from father to son, for 
many cenerations, although, no doubt» had a copy been taken, at the 
end of every fifty years, there must have been some difference, oc- 
casioned by the gradual change of language. I believe it is thus that 
very many ancient songs have been gradually modernized to tho 
common ear ; while, to the connoisseur, they present marks of their 
genuine antiquity.' — Letter to the Editor, from Mr. Jahes Hogo. 
To the observations of my ingenious corresj)ondent I have nothing to 
add, but that, in this, and a uiousand other instances, they accurately 
coincide with my personal knowledge." 

The notes to the introduction and ballad are Sir Walter Scott's. 

Thebe lived a king in southern land, 
King Edward hight his name; 

Unwordily he wore the crown, 
Till fifty years were gane. 

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2 He had a sister's son o's ain, 

Was large of blood and bane; 
And afterward, when he came up, 
Young Edward hight his name.* 

3 One day he came before the king, 

And Eneel'd low on his knee : 
" A boon, a boon, my good uncle, 
I crave to ask of thee! 

4 ''At our lang wars, in fair Scotland, 

I fain ha*e wish'd to be; 
If fifteen hundred waled t wight men 
You'll grant to ride with me." 

6 " Thou shall ha'e thae, thou shall ha'e mae; 

I say it sickerlie; 
And I myself, an auld gray man, 
Array 'd your host shall see." 

G King Edward rade, King Edward ran— 
I wish him dool and pyne! J 
Till ho had fifteen hundred men 
Assembled on the Tyne. 

7 And thrice as many at Bcrwicke§ 

Were all for battle bound, 
[Who, marching forth with false Dunbar, 
A ready welcome found.] || 

They lighted on the banks of Tweed, 
And blew their coals sac het. 
And fired the Merse and Toviotdale, 
All in an evening late. 

9 As they fared up o'er Lammermoor, 
They burn'd baith up and down. 
Until they came to a darksome house, 
Some call it Leader-Town. 

* Were it jMssIblo to find an aathority for calling this personage Edmund, vo 
should be a step nearer history; for a brother, though not a nephew of Edward I., so 
named, died in Qascony, daring an unsaocessfol campaign against the French.^ 
Knighton, mi. ill, cap. 8. r o -o 

t "Waled:" chosen. 

X Thas Spencer, in "Mother Haberd's Tale: "— 

"Thus is the ape l>ecomo a shepherd swain, 
And the false fox his dog. Ooa give them pain! " 
§ North Berwick, according to some reciters. 

I These two lines have been inserted by Mr. Hogg to complete the verse. Danbar, 
fhe fortrcRs of St. Patrick, Earl of March, was too often opened to the English, by 
vfye treachery of that barc^ during the reign of £4ward L 


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10 " Wha bauds this house?" young Edward cricd| 

" Or wha gi'est o*er to me? " 
A gray-hair'd knight set up his head, 
And crackit right crousely : 

11 "Of Scotland's king I hand my house; 

He pays me meat and fee ; 
And I will keep my gude auld house, 
While my house will keep mo/' 

12 They laid their sowies to the wall, 

With mony a heavy peal ; 
But he threw o'er to them agcn 
Baith pitch and tar barrel. 

13 With springalds, stanes, and gads of aim, 

Amang them fast he threw; 
Till mony of the Englishmen 
About the wall he slew. 

14 Full fifteen days that braid host lay, 

Sieging Auld Maitland keen; 
Syne they ha'e left him, hail and foir, 
Within his strength of stane. 

16 Then fifteen barks, all gaily good, 
Met them upon a day, 
Which they did lade with as much spoil 
As they cou'd bear away. 

16 "England 's our ain by heritage ; 

And what can us withstand, 
Now we ha'e conquer'd fair Scotland, 
With buckler, bow, and brand? " 

17 Then they are on to the land of Franco, 

Where auld king Edward lay, 
Burning baith castle, tower, and town, 
That he met in his way. 

18 Until he came unto that town, 

Which some call Billop-Grace : • 
There were Auld Maitland's sons, all three, 
Learning at school, alas ! 

•If this be a Flemish or Scottish comiption for ViHe de Grace, in Normandy; 
that town was noyer besiogcd by Kilward I., who^o xrars in Franco were oooflnod to 
tiio province of Gascony. The rapid chanpre of pccne, from Scotland to France, 
excites A BoapiciOD, that some verses may hayc been losk in this place. 

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19 The eldest to the youngest said, 

"Oh, sec ye what I see? 
If all be true yon standard says,* 
We're fatherless all three. 

20 " For Scotland 's conquered up and down ; 

Landmen we'll never be ! 
Now, will you go, my brethren two, 
And try some jeopardy? " 

21 Then they ha'e saddled twa black horse, 

Twa black horse and a gray; 
And they are on to king Edward's host, 
Before the dawn of day. 

22 When they arrived before the host, 

They hover'd on the lay: 
" Wilt thou lend me our king's standard. 
To bear a little way?" 

23 " Where wast thou bred? where w^ast thou born? 

Where, or in what countrie? " 
" In north of England I was born; " 
(It needed him to lee.) 

2-4 " A knight me gat, a ladye bore, 
I am a squire of high renown ; 
I well may bcar't to any king 
That ever yet wore crown." 

25 "He ne'er came of an Englishman, 
Had sic an e'o or brce ; 
But thou art the likest Auld Maitland, 
That ever I did see. 

2G " But sic a gloom on ae browhead, 
Grant I ne'er see again I 
For mony of our men he slew. 
And mony put to pain." 

27 When Maitland heard his father's namoi 

An angry man was he ; 
Then, lifting up a gilt dagger. 
Hung low down by his knee, 

28 He stabb'd the knight the standard bore. 

He stabb'd him crucllio; 

* Edward had quartered the wnn» of Scotland witii his own. 

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Then caught the standard by the ncuk, 
And fast away redo he.* 

29 "Now, is't na time, brothers," ho cried, 
" Now, is't na time to flee ? " 
"Ay, by my sooth ! " they baith replied, 
"We'll bear you companye." 

80 The youngest turned him in a path. 
And drew a burnished brand, 
And fifteen of the foremost slew, 
Till back the lave did stand. 

31 lie spurred the gray into the path, 
Till baith his sides they bled : 
"Gray! thou maun carry me away, 
Or my life lies in wad I " 

02 The captain lookit o'er the wall, 
About the break of day ; 
There he beheld the three Scots lads 
Pursued along the way. 

33 " Pull up portcuUize I down draw-brig ! 
My nepnews are at hand ; 
And they shall lodge with me to-night, 
In spite of all England." 

31 Whene'er they came witliin the yatc, 
They thrust their horse them frac,t 
And took three lang spears in their hands, 
Saying — "Here shall come nae mael" 

35 And they shot out, and they shot in, 

Till it was fairly day; 
When mony of the Englishmen 
About the draw-brig lay. 

36 Then they ha'e yoked the carts and wains. 

To ca' their dead away, 
And shot auld dykes abune the lave. 
In gutters where they lay. 

• Thnw, Sir Walter Manny, retroatinj? into the fortress of Hanybonte, after a 
rr.ecoasrul sally, was pursued by the besiegers, who *'ranne after them lyke maddo 
nieu ; than sir Onaltier saido, Let me never be beloved wyth my lady, nrythoat 
1 have a course wyth one of these followers!" and turning, with his lance In tho 
teat, he overthrew Bovoral of his pursuers, before ho condescended to continna hla 
retreat. — Froissart. 

t " The lord of Hangcst (pursued by the Enellsh) came so to tho barryrs (of Van- 
doanc) that were open, as his happo was, and so entred In thereat, and then toko 
Ills spcaro, aud turned him to defence, right yaliantly/'^/yoiHarf, vol L, chap. 327. 

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AULD maitlanD. 409 

37 Tho king, at his pavilion door, 
Was heard aloud to say: 
" Last night, threo of the lads of France 
My standard stole away. 

S8 " With a fause tale, disguised they came. 
And with a fauser trayne; 
And to regain my gaye standard, 
These men were all down slaync.'* 

C'3 " It ill befits," the youngest said, 
" A crowned king to lee ; 
But, or that I taste meat and drink. 
Reproved shall he be." 

40 He wont before king Edward straight, 

And kneel'd low on his knee : I 

" I wou'd ha'c leave, mjr lord," he said, 
" To speak a word with thee." 

41 The king ho tum'd him round about, 

And wistna what to say: 
Quo' he, " Man, thou 's ha'e leave to speak, 
Though thou should speak all day." 

42 "Ye said that threo young lads of Franco I 

Your standard stole away. 
With a fauso tale and fauser trayne, 
And mony men did slay; 

43 " But we are nane the lads of France, 

Nor o'er pretend to be : 
We are Uiree lads of fair Scotland, — 
Auld Maitland's sons are we. 


44 " Nor is there men in all your host 

Daur fight us three to three." | 

" Now, by my sooth," young Edward said, j 

" Weel fitted ye shall be! 

45 " Piercy shall with the eldest fight. 

And Ethert Lunn with thee ; 
William of Lancaster the third, 
And bring your fourth to me ! 

4G " Remember, Piercy, aft the Scot 
Has cower'd beneath thy hand; * 
For every drap of Maitland blood, 
ril gi'e a rig of land," 

* Modem, to supply an imperfect stmuso. 

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410 Uallad minstrelsy op SCOTLAKO. 

47 He clanked Piercy o*er the head 

A deep wound and a sair, 
Till the best blood of his body 
Came running down his hair. 

48 " NoWj I've slayne ane; slay ye the twa ; 

And that's gude compauye; 
And if the twa should slay ye baith, 
Ye'se get nae help frao me." * 

49 But Ethert Lunn, a baited bear, 

Had many battles seen ; 
He set the youngest wonder sair, 
Till the eldest he grew keen. 

50 " I ora nae king, nor nae Fie thing: f 

My word it slianna stand! 
For Ethert shall a buftbt bide, 
Come he beneath my brand." 

61 He clankit Ethert o*er the head 
A deep wound and a sair, 
Till the best blood in his body 
Came running o'er his hair. 

52 " Now, Fve slayne twa; slay ye the ane; 

Isna that gude companye? 
And though the ane shou'd slay ye baith, 
Ye'se get nae help of me." 

53 The twa-Bome they ha'e slayne the ane. 

They maul'd him cruellie ; { 
Then hung him over the draw-brig, 
That all the host might see. 

51 They rade their horse, they ran their horse, 

Then hover'd on the lee: 
" We be three lads of fair Scotland, 
That fain wou'd fighting see." 

♦AccOTvMng to the ?aw8 of chivalry, laws which wore also for a long timo 
obeerved in duclB, when two or more persons woro cngaffod on oftch side, he, who 
first conquered his Immodiato nntagonibt, was at liberty, if ho pleased, to como to 
the assistance of his companions. 

t Maitland's apology for retractinpr his promise to stand neater is as cnrions as 
his doing so is natnraL The unfortuuato John of Franco was wont to say, that if 
truth and faith were banished from all the rest of the aniTerse, they shoold still 
reside in the breast and the mouth of kings. 

t This has a Tulgar sound, but is actually a phrase of romance. Tant frappant et 
maillent lex deux yassaux Tun sur Tautre, que leani bMumee, ot lean haubfiatBi mm.% 
tows oasses et rompuz,-^Lft Floor des Jiattailes, 

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55 This boasting when young Edward heard, 

An angry man was he: 
" I'll take yon lad, I'll bind yon lad, 
And bring him bomid to thee I" 

56 " Now, God forbid," king Edward said, 

" That ever thou shou'd try! 
Three worthy leaders we ha'e lost, 
And thou the fourth wou'd lie. 

57 " If thou shou'dst hang on yon draw-brig, 

Blythe wou'd I never be." 
But, with the poll-axe in his hand, 
Upon the brig sprang he.* 

58 The first stroke that young Edward ga'c. 
He struck with might and main ; 
He clove the Maitland's helmet stout, 
And bit right nigh the brain. 

69 When Maitland saw his ain blood fall, 
An angry man was he;f 
He let his weapon frae him fall, 
And at his throat did lice. 

* Tho Biegea, daring Uio Middle Ageo, frequently afforded opportunity for Blnfclo 
combat, of which the scene was usually tho drawbridge, or barriers, of the town. 
The former, as the more dosjwrate place of battle, was frequently chosen by 
knights, who chose to break a lance for honour and their ladies' Ioto. In 1387, Sir 
William Douglas, Lord of Nithsdole, upon the drawbridge of the town of Carlifdo, 
consisting of two beams, hardly two feet in breadth, encountered and slew, first, a 
single champion of England, and afterwards two, who attacked him together.— 
Forduni Seotiehnmicon^ lib. xiv., chap. 61. 

" He brynt the suburbys of Carlele, 
And ai the bareris he faucht sa wel, 
That on thai'e bryg he slew a man, 
The wychtast that in the town wes than; 
Quhare, on a plank of twa feet brado 
He stnde, and swa gude payment mode, 
That he feld twa stout feohteris, 
And but skath went till his feres." 

^Wyntown's Crowykil^ book ix., chap. 8. 

Those combats at the barrlerB, or palisades, which formed the outer fortification 
of a town, were so frequent, th'&t the mode of attack and defence was early taught 
to the future knight, and continued long to be practised in the games of chivalry. 
The custom, therefore, of defying the Inhabitants of a besieged town to this sort of 
contest, was highly fashionable In the Middle Ages; and an army could hardly 
appear before a place, without giying rise to a variety of combats at Uie barriers, 
which were, In general, conducted without any unfair advantage being taken on 
either part 

t There is a saying, that a Scotchman fights best after seeing his own blood. 
Camerarius has contrived to hitch this foolish proverb into a national com pliment^ 
for he quotes it as an instance of the persevering gallantry of his countrymen. ♦' SI 
in pngna proprium effandi sanguinem yidissent, non stailm prostrato animo. con* 
oedebant, eed Irato potius la hostea yolut furentea omnibus viribus incorrebant," 

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CO And thrice about he did him swing, 
Till on the ground he light, 
Where he has halden young Edward, 
Tho* he was great in might. 

61 " Now let him up," king Edward cried, 
" And let him come to me ; 
And for the deed that thou hast done, 
Thou shalt ha'e carldomes three I'' 

C2 " It 's ne'er bo said in France, nor e'er 
In Scotland, when I'm hame, 
That Edward once lay under me,* 
And e'er gat up again I" 

03 Hepierced him through and through the heart, 
He maul'd him cruellie; 
Then hung him o'er the draw-brig. 
Beside the other three. 

CI " Now take frae me that feather-bed, 
Make me a bed of strae ! 
I wish I hadna lived this day. 
To make my heart sae wac. 

C5 " If I were ance at London Tow'r, 
Where I was wont to be, 
I never mair shou'd gang frae hamo, 
Till borne on a bier-trce. 


The unfortunate accident which deprived Alexander III. of life, 
on the 16th of March, 1285-6, opened the floodgates of civil broil in 
Scotland. These wore temporarily closed, but only to burst again 
with greater violence, on the death of Margaret, the Maiden of 
Norway, the lost lineal descendant of the ancient Scotish kings, 
AD. 1290. 

Well, therefore, might the early poet sing the doleful ditty,— 

" Qnhen Alysandvr, onre kyng, vos dedo, 
That Scotiand led in luwe and lo, 
Away woe sons of alo and bredo. 
Of wyne and wax, of gomyn and gle. 

* Some reciters repeat it thas,— 

"That Englishman lay onder me," 
whieh ia in the tnie spirit of Blind Horry, who makes Wallace say,— 
"I better like to see the Soatheron die, 
Than gold or land, that they can gi'e to m&" 
In slaying Edward, Maitland acts pitUossly, bnt not contrary to (lie laws of ans^ 
which didnot enjoin a knight to »how mercy %9 bis oatftgoaist, ontU I19 yi«ided Uni, 
♦* reacue or no iwcuo,*' 

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^ Onre gold wea ehaogrd into lede.— 
Cryat, borne in-to vii^ynyte, 
Sncooor ScoUand, and remedo, 
That Btad is in perplexyttf.** * 

Well might the Scotish nation stand aghast as it beheld the mus- 
tering hosts marshal themselves in fierce array under the banner of 
one or other of the numerous aspirants after the vacant throne, and 
as it witnessed the wily and unprincipled policy of the able but 
nnscmpulons English king, as such was by nim steadily and ruth- 
lessly developed. 

It was after this policy had culminated in the defeat, diss^race, and 
imprisonment of Baliol, the vassal king — when the fortune of Scotland 
was at the lowest ebb, and her position as an independent nation 
seemed gone for ever— it was then that Wallace, one of the greatest 
and noblest patriots the world has ever seen, was raised up, like ono 
of the deliverers and judges of the Hebrew people of old; and it was 
this fondly-revered champion of his country's liberty who, by tho 
might of his strong right arm, and tho force of his valiant and in- 
domitable example, rolled back the tide of Southern invasion, leaving 
Scotsmen as God created them to be — freemen. 

Modem critics may sneer and cavil at tho apparently superhuman 
exploits of the Scotish champion, as sun^r by the Scotish Homer; but 
the fact remains, that Wallace, with liis small but trusty band of 
kindred-eouled compatriots, baffled the skill and might of one of the 
ablest monarchs at tho head of one of the bravest and most powerful 
nations in the world; and this in spite of the jealousy, treason, and 
mendacity of the Scotish nobles, who thwarted him to the utmost 
of their power, and by one of whom he was iQtimately betrayed into 
the hands of his own and his country's enemy. The name of the 
" fslae Mentcith,*' who basely thus, for English cold, did Judas-like 
betray " his country's saviour," is, and ever shafl bo, execrated and 
made a byeword of reproach as long as a Scotsman lives and breathes. 
It forms no part of our plan to follow the patriot-martyr through the 
cheauered events of his cai^'eer, until its fetal termination on an 
English scaffold, 23d August, 1305, after which his head was placed 
on a i>ole on Loudon bridge, and the quarters of his dismembered 
body sent respectively to Newcastle, Berwick, Perth, and Aberdeen. 

The crowned murderer, no doubt^ exulted in tho thought that 
Scotish independence had perished with his victim ; but it was not 
so, for — 

"Froedom'B battio onco beftimt 
Bequeath'd by bleeding sire to Eon, 
Tho' baffled oft, is over won." 

And thus- 

" Prom Wallace* blood, like precious seed-drops bbcd, 
Sprang np fresh pfttrlots in hla stops to t^ 

Kav,the avenger was even then within the gates of the English kiup, 
in tne person of Robert Bruce, who, on the 27 Ih of March, 1306, was 

• Winton*? Cfronyiil, voL i« p. 401. The elegiac song thus preserved is supposed 
to be the earliest specimen of tho Scotish, as dlstinguiabod from tho Qaelic lan.^ 
But if Sir Walter Scott be correct In ascribing the aathorshlp of Sir Trisirtm to 
^ ThODMS the EhTmer," that romance wonld of coarse toko precedence. 

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crowned at Scone as King of Scotland, and who, after many severe 
and trying struggles and vicissitudes, nxed the liberty and indepen- 
dence of his country on a firm and permanent basis by the great and 
crowning victory of Bannockbum. 

"The industry of Henry the Minstrel has," says MotherwcU, 
** done justice to the history of the Patriot [Wallace] ; and it is 
believed that in his heroick poem * will be found incorporated all the 
detached sones, founded on real or fabulous incident, which were 
living on the breath of tradition, regarding the hero at the time Henry 
lived. The disappearance of these detacned soncs can be ascribed to 
no other cause than the extreme popularity which the work of Henry 
has acquired. I have heard it as a byeword, in some parts of 
Stirlingshire, that a collier's library consists but of four books : the 
Confession of Faith, the Bible, a bunch of ballads, and * Sir William 
Wallace : ' the first for the gude-wife, the second for the gude-man, 
the third for their daughter, and the last for the son— a selection 
indicative of no mean taste in these grim moldwarps of humanity. 

"No ballads relative to the Bruce and his chivalry exist, the 
celebrity of Barbour's historick poem f having, in the coarse of time, 
wholly swept their memory away. That one, who, in his own person 
and fortunes, realized the most perfect picture we have of a * Knight 
adventurous,' and who seems niroself to have had a very lively 
relish for the compositions of the minstrel muse,:}: should £ul being 
commemorated in song, is inconsistent ^-ith probability. We know 
that a henUd, in a solemn feast» bcinjr desired by Edward of Carnarvon 
to say, what three knights then living were most approved in arms, 
unhesitatingly named Bruce as one of the number. The minstrel 
and the herald were at that period, oftentimes, one and the same 
profession. When Barbour wrote, bidlads relative to this period 
appear to have been common ; for the poet, speakiog of certain 
*Thre worth! poyntis of wer,' omits the particulars of the *Thrid, 
which fell into Esdaill,' being a victory gained by * Schyr Johne the 
Soullis' over * Schyr Andrew Hardclay,^for this reason :— 

*I will nocht reliors the marior. 
For wha sa likos thai mav hor. 
Young women quhen thai will play, 
Sing it amang thaim ilk day.' 

" * The monkishe rymes, truffes, and roundes,' made alternately 
by the Scottish or English, as either side prevailed, and of which 
some specimens are preserved in the chronicles of the latter, do not 
properly belong to the class of narrative ballads. § These rhymes, it 

* Wallace, Dr. Jamieson's odition, reprint, Glasgow, 1SC9. 
t The Bmce, Dr. Jamleson's edition, reprint, Glasgow, ISCO. 

t " Barbour gives an interesting account of him, in one instance comforting his 
followers bv reading to them portions of the Romance of Ferumbrace^ and on another 
occasion, or being accustomed to tell them 

*Auld Btoryis of men that wer 
Bet in tyll ossayia ser.' "— MotherwelL 

% The Scotish portion of the satirical songs or pasqnils hero referred to, may bo 
found quoted in the companion Tolumo, aongt of Scotland. Chronologically Arra^natd^ 
Introduction, pp. Hi and 1 v. f y / ^ ^9 

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may be stated, are written in what is called the 'ryme cowee,' and 
which appears to have borne a marked resemblance to that descrip- 
tion of metrical abuse styled ' Flyting ' by our Scottish Makers, of 
which we have some notable examples in the poeticl encounters of 
Dunbar and Kennedy, *and Montgomery and Hume, "a — Motherwell's 
Minstrelsy f Introduction, pp. xlvL-viii. 

Now that ** these cruel wars are over," and Scotland united with 
England and Ireland, on free and equal terms, as portions of one 
great nation, let us trust that every Englishmau, Irishman, ay, and 
every American — yea, every lover of fair play and liberty all the 
world over— will respond to the poetic prayer of the Scotish bard, 
Kobert Bums : — 

" O Thou I who pour'd the patriotic tide 

That stream'd thro* Wallace's undanntod heart; 
Who dared, bo nobly, stem tyrannic pride, 

Or nobly die, the second glorious part, 

(The patriot's God peculiarly thou art, 
His friend, insplrer, guardian, and reward !) 

Oh, never, never Scotia's realm desert : 
But still the patriot, and the patriot bard. 
In bright sncceaaion raise, her ornament and guard." t 

The two ballads which follow appear to be derived respcctivcl 
from Blind Harry's Wallace, books iv. and v. 

Of that first given, there are two versions, namely : — 

I. " Sir WiUiam Wallace," in the Thistle ofScoUand, p. 100. 
II. "Wallace and his Leman," in Buchan's Ancient Ballads^ 
&c., vol ii., p. 226. 

The text is taken from version I., with the exception of stanza 15, 
which is given from version II., as are also other stanzas noted under 
the text as variations. 

Both conclude with portions of the ballad which comes next in 
order, and of which fuller versions appeared as under : — 

L In Johnson's Musical Museum, vol. v., p. 493. As com- 
municated by Bums. 

II. In the Illustrations or Notes to Johnson's Museum, p. 458*, 
as given by Mr. D. Laing, from a copy which " appeared 
in a common cluspform, along with some Jacobite oallads, 
print<»i about the year 1750.'° 

III. Under the title of "Willie Wallace," in Buchan's Qlean- 
ings, p. 114^ as " taken down from an itinerant tinker and 

The same ballad is also given by Jamieson and by 
Finlay, in their respective collections, and by Allan 
Cunningham, with editorial additions and embellishments, 
in TliA Songs of Scotland, 
Mr. Buchan's version (III. ) is the one here printed under the title 
of " Gude Wallace; " but it has received a few emendations. 
• See Dunbar's PoevM, edited by Mr. David liaing. 
t See WatBOn'B Collation of Scots Poems, reprint, QlaegQW, 1869. 
I **Tb9 Ootter'8 Saturday Night," lost stanza. 

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1 Wou'd ye hear of William Wallace, 

And seek him as he goes, 
Into the land of Lanark, 
Amang his mortal foes ? 

2 There were fifteen English sogers 

Unto his ladye came, 
Said—" Gi'e us William Wallace, 
That we may have him slain. 

3 " Won'd ye gi'e William Wallace, 

That we may have him slain ? 
And ye'se be wedded to a lord, 
The best in Christendeem." 

4 " This very night, at seven, 

Brave Wallace will come in, 
And he'll come to my chamber door, 
Without or dread or din." 

5 The fifteen English sogers 

Around the house did wait ; 
And four brave Southron foragers 
Stood hie upon the gait. 

C That very night, at seven. 
Brave Wallace he came in. 
And he came to his ladyc's bow'r 
Withouten dread or din.* 

7 When she beheld bravo Wallace, 

And stared him in the face — 
"Ohon, alas!" said that ladye, 
" This is a woeful case. 

8 " For I this night have sold you, 

This night you must be ta'en ; 
And I'm to be wedded to a lord, 
The best in Christendeem." 

9 " Do you repent," said Wallace, 

"The ill you've done to me?" 
"Ay, that I do," said that ladye, 
" And will do till I dee. 

• Mr. Buclian's Tereion begins— 

" Wallace wight, tipon a night, 
Came riding o'er the linn; 
And he is to IiIb leman'B bow'r, 
And tirl'd at the pin.'* 

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10 " Ay, that I do," said that ladye, 

"And will do ever still; 
And for the ill IVo done to you, 
Lot mo burn upon a hill." 

11 " Now. God forfend," says bravo Wallace, 

"I snould be so unkind; 
"Whatever I am to Scotland's faes, 
Tm aye a woman's friend. 

12 " Will ye gi*e me your gown, your gown, 

Your gown but and your kirtlc, 
Your petticoat of bonnie brown. 
And belt about my middle? 

13 " ni take a pitcher in ilka hand, 

And do me to the well ; 
They'll think I'm one of your maidens. 
Or think it is yourseP." 

14 She has gi'en him her gown, her gown, 

Her petticoat and kirtle ; 
Her broadest belt with silver clasps, 
To bind about his middle. 

15 [Then he ga'e her a loving kiss, 

The tear dropp'd frae his e'e ; 
Says — " Fare ye well for evermair, 
Your face ril nae mair see."]* 

16 He 's ta'en a pitcher in ilka hand, 

And done him to the well; 
They thought him one of her maidens, 
They kenn'd 'twas not hersor.f 

17 Said one of the Southron foragers, — 

" See yo yon lusty dame? 
I wou'd nae gi'e meikle to thee, neebor, 
To bring her back again." 

18 Then all the Southrons foUow'd him, 

They followed him all four; 
But he has drawn his trusty brand, 
And slain them pair by pair. 

* Inserted from Mr. Buohan*B Temlon. 

t " She dresB'd him in her aln cloithing, 
And frae her honee he came, 
Which made the Englishmen admire 
To see this stalwart dame."^BttCbftD's Torsioa. 

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1 Wallace was in tho high Highlands, 

Neither meat nor drink got he ; 

Said— "Fa** me life, or fa' me death, 

Now to some town I maun bo." 

2 He has put on his short cleiding, 

And on his short cleiding put he; 
Says — " Fa' me life, or fa' me death. 
Now to Saint Johnstoun's f I maun be." 

8 Then he cross'd o'er the river Tay, 
On to tho North Lich steppit he ; 
And he was 'ware of a weel-faur'd May, 
Was washing there aneath a tree. 

4 " What news, what news, ye weel-faur'd May, 

What news ha'e yo this day to me? 
What news, what news, ye weel-faur'd May, 
What news ha'e ye in the South countric?" 

5 " Nac news, nae news, ye gentle knight, 

Nae news ha'e I this day to thee ; 

But fifteen lords in yon hostler-houso, 

Waiting Qudo Wallace for to see." 

6 " If I had but in my pocket 

The wortli of one single pennie, 
I wou'd go to the hostler-house. 
These fifteen Englishmen to see." 

7 She put her hand in her pocket. 

And she has puU'd out half-a-crown ; 

Says — ** Take ye that, ye belted knight. 

And with it pay your lawin' down." 

8 As he went frae the weel-faur'd May, 

A beggar bauld I wot met he, 

Was covered with a clouted J cloak. 

And in his hand a trusty tree. 

9 " Wliat news, what news, ye silly auld man, 

What news ha'e ye this day to gi'e? 
What news, what news, yo silly auld man, 
What news ha'o yo in the South countrie?" 

• »Fa': " bcfaa t PerUi. X " Clouted: " patched 

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10 " 111 news, ill news, ye belted knight, 

111 news ba'e I to tell to thee; 
For there 's fifteen lords in^on hostler-house, 
Waiting Qude Wallace for to see." 

11 " Ye*ll lend to me your clouted cloak. 

That covers you frae head to knee, 
And ril gang to the hostler-house. 
To ask of them for some snpplic.*^ 

12 Now he 's gane to the West-muir wood, 

And there ho pull'd a trustv tree, 
And then he 's on to tlio hostler-housc. 
Asking them there for charitie. 

13 Down the stair the captain comes, 

Aye the puir man for to see; 
" If ye be a captain as gude as ye look, 
Ye^ll gi'e a puir man some supplic." 

14 " Where were ye bom, ye crooked carle? 

Where were ye born? in what countric?" 
" In fair Scotland hero I was born, 
Crooked carle, as ye call me." 

15 ** Oh, I wou'd gi'e ye fifty pounds 

Of gold and of the white monie ; 
Oh, I wou*d gi'e ye fifty pounds, 
If the traitor Wallace ye'd lot mc see." 

16 " Tell down your monie," said Gudo Wallace, 

" Tell down your monio, if it be gude; 
For I*m sure I ha'e it in my powV, 
And I never had a better bode.* 

17 " Tell down your monie, if it be gude. 

And let me see if it bo fine ; 
I'm sure I ha'e it in my pow'r 
To bring the traitor, Wallace, in." 

18 The monie was told down on the table, 

Silver and gold of pounds fiftio ; 
" Now, here I stand," said Gudo Wallace, 
*' And what ha'e ye to say to me ? " 

10 lie fell'd the captain where he stood. 

With a downright stroke upon the floor ; 
He slew the rest around the room, 
And ask'd if there were any more. 

♦"Dovio:'" ollor. 

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20 " Come, cover the table," said Gude Wallace, 

" Come, cover the table, now make haste ; 
For it will soon be three lang days 
Since I a bit of meat did taste/' 

21 The table it was scarcely cover'd, 

Nor yet had he sat down to dine, 
Till fifteen more of the English lords 
Surrounded the house where he Avas in. 

22 " Come out, come out, thou traitor, Wallace, 

This is the day that ve maun dee I " 
" I lippen* nae sae little to God," he says, 
" Altho' I bo but little wordie."t 

23 The gudewifc she ran but % the floor, 

And aye the gudcman he ran ben; 

From eight o'clock till four at noon, 

Wallace has kill'd full thirty men, 

2 1 He put his facs in sic a swither,§ 

That five of them he stickit dead ; 
Five of them ho drowu'd in the river, 
And five he hung in the West-muir wood. 

2j Then ho is on to the North Inch gane, 

Where the May was washing tenderly : 
*' Now, by my sooth," said Gude Wallace, 
" It 's been a sair day's wark to me ! " 

2G lie 'h put his hand into his pocket. 

And he has pulFd out twenty pound; 
Says — ** Take ye that, ye weel-faured May, 
For the gude luck of your half-crown! " 


Copied from a Glasgow chap-book, "printed by J. and M. Robert- 
son, Saltmarkct, 1803!" It is prefaced thus: — 

"The famous battle of Rosline, foueht on the plains of Rosliue, 
Anno Dom. 1303, i| about five miles soatn of Edinburgh, where 10,000 

♦"Lippen:" trust 

t This Btonza Is takon from Jomieson^s version. 

X "Bat,*' the onter, and "ben," the inner apartment of a house or cottage. 
5 **Swither:*' perplexity. 
'Langtoft is open and candid aa to the enUre defeat of the EDgliBh.** For 
curious and minute account giyen by ** hlpi, see his work, yol ii^ p. 319. 


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Scots, led by Sir John Cummin And Sir Simon Fraser, defeated in 
three battles, in one day, 30,000 of their [English] enemies." 

Mr. Maidment, in his Scotish Ballads and Songs^ p. 14S, prints 
the same ballad from one ** dated Edinburgh, 1785." They agree 
minutely; but the Glasgow edition has three lines more than the 
other; which three lines are necessary, in order to preserve the 
uniformity of the stanzas. 

Some of the early English historians state that Wallace led the 
Scotish army which achieved this triad of victories ; but others, as 
also the Scotish historians, make no mention of him in connection 

The English armies seem to have been commanded respectively bv 
John de Segrave ; by Kidph de Manton, called, from his oiiice, Ilalph 
the Coflferer ; and by Sir Kobert Neville — all of whom appear to have 
fallen. Some of the Scotish nobles then in France, on hearing of this 
exploit, " addressed a letter to the governor and nobility of Scotland, 
in which they exhorted them to be of good courage, and to persevere 
in vindicating the liberties of their country. 'You would jpreatly 
rejoice,' they say in this letter, ' if you were aware what a weight of 
honour tiiis last conflict with the English has conferred upon you 
throughout the world.' " * 

Sir Simon Fraser, the hero of this achievement, and compatriot 
of Wallace, was ultimately taken pi-isoner near Stirling, a.d. 1306. 
** He was carried to London, heavily ironed, with his legs tied under 
his horse's belly, and, as ho passed through the city, a garland of 
jjeriwinkles was in mockery placed upon his head. . . Fraser was 
tried and condemned, after which he suffered the death of a traitor, 
with all its circumstances of refined cruelty. He was hanged, cut 
down when still living;, and beheaded ; his bowels were then torn out 
and burned, and his head fixed beside that of Wallace, upon London 
Bridge." + 

"A long ballad against the Scotch, written upon the execution of 
Sir Simon Fraser, 1306, from a manuscript of that time, Harl. Lib. 
2253, t V. 59," appears in Ancient Scotish Poems (printed by Pinker- 
ton, from the Maitland MSS.), A'oI. ii, Appendix, article iv., p. 488. 

1 Leave off your tittle tattle, 
And I'll tell you of a battle. 
Where claymore and targe did rattle. 

At Rosline on the Lee : 
Ton thousand Scottish laddies, 
Drest in their tartan plaidies, 
With blue bonnets and cockadiea — 

A pleasant sight to see. 

• "Eyiner, Fctd^ vol. i., now edit, p. 9S5, Jane 8, 1303," as quoted by TyUer, 
Eiitory of Scotland, \oL I (new edit., 1S66), p. 173. 

t Tytler's HUtory of BcoHand^ voL i., p. 217, edit. 1SC6; as given on the anthority 
Of Matthew Westminater. 


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2 Led* by Sir Simon Fraser, 
Who Avaa as bold as CcBsar, 
Great Alexander never 

Could exceed that Hero bold-f 
And by brave Sir John Cummin. 
When he saw the foes a-coming, 
Set the bagpipes all a-bumming, 

" Stand firm, my hearts of gold I " 

8 Ten thousand English advancing, 
See how their arms are glancing ; 
We'll set them all a-dancing 

At Bosline on the Lcc. 
Like furies our brave Highland men 
Most boldly they engaged them, 
On field they durst no longer stand, 

They soon began to flee. 

4 They rush'd into the battle, 
Made sword and targe to rattle, 
Which made their foes to startle — 

They fell dead on the ground. 
Our army gave a loud huzza, 
Our Highland lads have won the day, 
On field they J durst no longer stay; 

See how the cowards j:un I 

6 This battle was no sooner over, 
Than ten thousand of the other 
Came marching in good order, 

Most boldly for to fight. 
Their colours were displaving, 
Their horse foaming and braying, 
Their generals are saying, 

" Well soon put them to flight." 

6 But our bowmen gave a volley, 
Made them repent their folly ; 
They soon tum'd melancholy, 
And staggered to and fro. 

♦ The chap copies read " commanded." 

t The late Mr. MacQregor Simpson, Scotlsh Tooalist, dressed " In the garb of oU 
Gaul," nsed to sing this piece with bagpipe prelude or accompaniment 

If the writer remembers rightly, it was sung with variaitQnSt the third and fourth 
lines of stanza 2 being changed to— 

** Or as old Nchnchadnezzar, 

Tliose heroes stout ana boll" 
Or something very similar. 
X The enemy. 

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Our Bpearmen then engaged, 
Their rage thev soon assuaged,* 
Like lions our heroes ragSd, 
Death dealt at every blow. 

7 For one hour and a quarter 
There was a bloody slaughter, 
Till the enemies cry'd quarter,t 

And in confusion nee. 
Our general says — "Don't pursue; 
Ten thousand more are come in view; 
Take courage, lads, our hearts are true, 

And beat your enemy! " 

8 Then thinking for to cross us. 
They rallying all their forces, 
Both of foot and horses, 

To make the last attempt. 
The Scots cry'd out with bravery, 
" We disdain their English knavery, J 
We'll ne'er be brought to slavery, 

Till our last blood is spent." 

9 With fresh courage they did engage, 
And manfully made for the charge. 
With their broadsword and their targe. 

Most boldly then they stood. 
The third battle it was very sore, 
Thousands lay reeking in their gore. 
The like was never seen before, 

The fields did swim with blood. 

10 The English could no longer stay. 
In great confusion fled away. 
And sore they do lament the day . 

That they came there to fight. 
Cummin cry'd — "Chase them, do not spnrc, 
Quick as the hound dotli chase the hare;" 
And many were § ta'en prisoners [there], 

Tliat day upon the flight. 

11 The Douglas, Campbell, and the Hay, 
The Gordons from the water Spey, 
So boldly as they fought that day 

With the brave Montgomery. 

* This and the preceding line do not appear in Mr. Maidment's copy, 
t This, it appears, they did not receiye, the Scots bef ng too numcrlcallj woik to 
hold prisoners and flght the new army. 
t This line does not appear in Ur. Maidment'a c^py. 
$ The chap copies read " one" in place of " wore." 

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Tho Kers and Murray s of renoAvn, 
The Keiths, Boyds, and Harailtous, 
They brought their foes down to the ground, 
And fought with bravery. 

12 Sound, sound the music, sound it, 
Let hills and dales rebound it. 
Fill up the glass, and round wi't, 

In praise of our heroes bold. 
If Scotsmen were always true. 
We'd make our enemies to rue; 
But, alas ! weVe not all true blue, 

As we were in days of old. 


"The Scottish edition," from Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. i., p. 354. 

** The following ballad of the battle of Otterboume, being essentially 
different from that which is published m the Rdiques qf Ancient 
Poetry, vol. i., and being obviously of Scottish composition, claims 
a place in the present collection. The particulars of that noted 
action are related by Froissart, with the highest encomiums upon tho 
valour of the combatants on each side. James, Earl of Douglas, with 
his brother, the Earl of Murray, in 1387, invaded Northumberland, at 
the head of 3,000 men, while the Earls of Fife and Strathcm, sons to 
the king of Scotland, ravaged the western borders of England, with 
a still more numerous army. Douglas penetrated as far as *Kewcast1o, 
where the renowned Hotspur lay m garrison. In a skirmish before 
the walls, Percy's lance, with the pennon, or guidon, attached to it, 
was taken by Douglas— as most authors affirm, in a personal en- 
counter betwixt tho two heroes. The earl shook the pennon aloft, 
and swore he would carry it as his spoil into Scotland, and ])lant it 
upon his castle at Dalkeith. 'That,* answered Percy, 'shalt thou 
never! * Accordingly, having collected the forces of the marches, to 
a number equal, or (accortung to the Scottish historians) much 
superior, to the army of Dougl^ Hotspur made a ni^ht attack upon 
the Scottish camp at Otterboume, about thirty-two miles from New- 
castle. An action took place, fought by moonlight, with uncommon 
gallantry and desperation. At length, Douglas, armed with an iron 
mace, which few but he could wield, rushed into the thickest of the 
£:igli8h battalions, followed only by his chaplain, and two squires of 
his body.* Before his followers could come up, their brave leader 
was stretched on the ground, with three mortal wounds ; his squires 
lay dead by his side ; the priest alone, armed with a lance, was pro- 

• Their names were Bobert Hart and Simon Glendinning. Tho chaplain was 
Bichard Lundie, afterwards archdeacon of Aberdeen.— O^ocbcroyt Hart, according 
to WlntouD, was a knight That historian says, no one knew how Douglas felt 

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tcctins his master from further injury. * I die like my forefathers,' 
said the expiring hero, * in a field of battle, and not on a bed of sick- 
ness. Conceal my death, defend my standard,* and avence my fall ! 
it is an old prophecy, that a dead man shall gain a iidd, f and I 
hope it will oe accomplished this night.^ —GodscrofL With these 
words he expired ; and the fight was renewed with double obstinacy 
around his body. When morning appeared, however, victory began 
to incline to toe Scottish side. Ralph Percy, brother to Hotspur, 
was made prisoner by the Earl Mareschal, and shortly after, Hany 
Percy t himself was taken by Lord Montgomery. The number of 
captives, according to Wintoun, nearly equalled that of the victors. 
Upon this the English retired, and left the Scots masters of the dear- 
bought honours of the field. But the Bishop of Durham approaching 
at the head of a body of fresh forces, not only checked the pursuit 
of the victors, but made prisoners of some of the stragglers, wno had 
urged the chase too far. The battle was not, however, renewed, as 
the Bishop of Durham did not venture to attempt the rescue of Percy. 
The field was fought 15th August, ySSS.—Forditn, Froissart, Holin- 
shedj Oodscroft, 

''The ground on which this memorable engagement took place 
still retains the name of Battle-Gross. A crosia, erroneously termed 
Percy's Cross, has been erected upon the spot where the gallant 
Earl of Douglas is supposed to have fallen. The Castle of Otter£}ume, 
which was besieged oy Douglas, with its demesne lands, . . . [and] 
a neighbouring eminence called Fawdoun Hill, on which may yet be 
discerned the vestiges of the Scottish camp, agreeing with the des- 
cription of the ballad, 'They lighted high on Otterbourn.' Earl's 
M^Eidows, containing a fine spring, callea Percy's Well, are a part 
of the same grounds, and probably derive their name from the 
battla The camp on Fawdoun Hill is a mile distant from Battle- 
Cross ; but it must be remembered that the various changes of position 
* and of fortune, during so long and fierce an engagement between two 
considerable armies, must have extended the conflict over all the 

" The ballad published in the Beliques, is avowedly an English pro- 
duction, and the author, with a natural partiality, jeans to the side 
of his countrymen ; yet that ballad, or some one similar, modified 
probably by national prejudice, must have been current in Scotland 
during the reign of James VI.; for Godscroft, in treating of this 
battle, mentions its having been the subject of popular song, and 
proceeds thus : ' But that which is commonly sung of the " Hunting 
of Cheviot," seemeth indeed poetical, and a mere fiction, perhaps to 
stir up virtue ; yet a fiction whereof there is no mention, eitner in the 

* The banner of Douglas, upon this memorable occasion, was borne by his natnral 
pon, Archibald Douglas, ancestor of the family of Oavers, hereditary SheriifB of 
Teviotdale, amongst whose archives this glorious relic is still preserved. The earl, 
at his onset, Is sidd to have charged his son to defend it to the last drop of hla 

t This prophecy occurs in the ballad as an ominous dream. 

t Hotspur, for his ransom, built tho Castle of Penoon, in Ayrshire, belonging to 
the family of Montgomery, now Earls of Egllntoaa 

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Scottish or EngL'sh cbronicle.* Neither are the songs that are made 
of them both one ; for the Scots song made of Otterboume telleth the 
time, abont Lammas ; and also the occasion, to take preys ont of 
England; also the dividing armies betwixt the Earls of Fife and 
Douglas, and their several journeys, almost as in the authentic hia- 
tory. It beginneth thus :— 

" It foil about tho Lammas tide, 
When yeomen %vin their hay, 
Tho dochty Donglas 'gan to rido, 
In England to take a prey." ' 

Godscro/t, ed. Edin., 1743, toI. 1., p. 195. 

"I cannot venture to assert, that the stanzas, here published, 
belong to the ballad alluded to by Godscroft ; but they come much 
nearer to his description than the copy published iu the first edition.'f 
which represented Douglas as falling by the poniard of a faithless pa^ 
Yet we learn from the same author, that the story of the assassination 
was not without foundation in tradition. — ' There are that say, that 
he [Douglas] was not slain by the enemy, but by one of his own men, 
a groom of his chamber, whom he had struck the d&y before with a 
truncheon, in ordering of tho battle, because he saw him make some- 
what slowly to. And they name this man John Bickerton of Lu&ess, 
who left a part of his armour behind unfastened, and when he was in 
the greatest conflict, this servant of his came behind his back, and 
slew him thereat.* — Oodscroft, ut supra. — * But this narration,' adds 
the historian, * is not so probable.' t Indeed, it seems to have no 

* ["The Hunting of Choyiot," or •'Chovy Chace," of which, properly Rpeaking, only 
English verslonfl now exist, probably refers to the battle of Pepperden, fought between 
tho Scots under the Earl of Angus, and tho English under the Earl of Norfchnmber- 
land, A.D. 1436. The Scots were the victors, as at Otterboume.] 

t " Ont then spoke a bonny boy, 

That serv'd ane o' Earl Douglas* kin— 
*MethinkB I see an English host 
A-oomlng branking us upon.' 
" ' If tms be true, thou little foot page, ^ 

If this be true thou tells to me, 
The brawest bower in Otterboume 
Shall be thy morning's fee. 
*' • But if it be false, thou UtUe boy I 
But and a lie thou tolls to me. 
On the highest tree in Otterboume, 
V^r my ain hands, 111 hang thee hie ! ' 
" Tho boy has ta'en ont his little penknifo 
That bung right low down by his garo. 
And he gave Lord Douglas a deadly wound, 
I wot a deep wound and a sare. 
"Earl Douglas to the Montgomery said, 
' Take thou the vanguard of the three; 
And bury me by the braken bush, 
That grows upon yon lilye lee.*** 

Minstrelsy, Ist edit, voL L, p 32. 
[And substantially the same in Herd.] 
X Wintoun assigns another cause for Douglas being carelessly armed:^ 
** The Erie Jamys was sa besy. 
For till ordane his company. 
And on his fays for to pas. 
That reckles he of his armyng was : 
The Erie of Mwrrawys bassenet. 

Thai sayd, at thottyme was ferryhete.**— .Book vi!!^ chap. 7. 
The drcomstance of Douglas* omitting to put on his hehnet occurs In the ballad. 

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fonndatioD, bat the common desire of assigning some remote and 
extraordinary cause for the death of a great man. The following 
ballad is also inaccurate in many other particulars, and is much 
shorter and more indistinct, than that printed in the Bdiques, al- 
though many verses are almost the same. Hotspur, for instance, is 
called Earl Percy, a title he never enjoyed. Neither was Doudaa 
buried on the field of battle, but in Melrose Abbey, where his tomb is 
still shown. 

**Thi8 song was first published from Mr. Herd's Collection qf 
Scottish Songs and jBo^OiZs, Edinburgh, 1776, 2 vols, octavo; but for- 
tunately two copies have since been obtained from the recitation of 
old persons residing at the head of Ettrick Forest, by which the 
story is brought out, and completed in a manner much more corie- 
spondent to ihe true history. 

" I cannot dismiss the subject of the battle of Otterboume without 
stating (with all the deference due to the father of this species of 
literature) some doubts which have occurred to an ingenious corre- 
spondent, and an excellent antiquary, concerning the remarks on the 
names subjoined to the ballads of * Chevy Chace ' and ' Otterboume,* 
in the Reliques of Ancient Poetry ^ vol. i., p. 34, 4th edition. 

•* * John de Lovele, sherifiF of Northumberland, 34th Hen. VII., ' is 
evidently a mistake, as Henry VII. did not reign quite twenty -four 
years ; but the person meant was probably John de Lavale, Imight, 
of Belavale Castle, who was sheriff, 34th Henry VIII. There seems 
little doubt that this was the person called in the ballad 'the 
gentil LoveL* Sir Raff the rich Rugbe, was probably Sir Ralph 
Neville of Raby Castle, son of the first Earl of Westmoreland, and 
cousin-german to Hotspur. In the more modem edition of the 
ballad, ne is expressly called Sir Ralph Raby, i e., of Raby. 

" With respect to the march of Douglas, as described in the ballad, 
it appears that he entered Northumberland from the westward. 
Redesdale, Rothely-crags, and Green Leighton, are a few miles east- 
ward of Otterboume. Otterscope Hill lies south-west from Green 

** The celebrated Hotspur, son of the first Earl of Northumberland, 
was, in 1385, Governor of Berwick and Warden of the East Marches; 
in which last capacity it was his duty to repel the invasion of 

'* Sir Henry Fitzhugh, mentioned in the ballad, was one of the 
Earl of Northumberland's commanders at the battle of Homeldown. 

" As to the local situation of Otterboume, it is thirty statute miles 
from Newcastle, though Buchanan has diminished the distance to 
eight miles only. 

'*The account given of Sir John of Agurstone seems also liable to 
some doubt. This personage is supposed by Bishop Percy to have 
been one of the Hagerstons of Hagerston, a NorUiumbrian family, 
who, according to the fate of war, were sometimes subjects of Scot- 
land. I cannot, however, think, that at this period, while the 
English were in possession both of Berwick and Roxburgh, with the 
intermediate fortresses of Wark, Comhill, and Norham, the Scots 
possessed any part of Northumberland, much less a manor which 

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lay within that strong chain of castles. I should presume the per- 
son alluded to rather to have been one of the Hutherfords, Barons 
of Edgerstane, or Edgerstou, a warlike family, which has long 
flourished on the Scottish Borders, and who were, at this very period, 
retainers of the house of Doup^las. The same notes contain an 
account of the other Scottish warriors of distinction who were present 
at the battle. These were, the Earls of Monteith, Buchan, and 
Hontly ; the Barons of Maxwell and Johnston; Swinton of that ilk, 
an ancient family, which about that period produced several dis- 
tinguished warriors ; Sir David (or rather, as tne learned bishop well 
remarks, Sir Walter) Scott of Buccleuch, Stewart of Garlies, and 
Murray of CockpooL 

** ' Begibiifl et legibus. Scotloi constantes, 
V08 dypeis et gladiis pro patriis pugnantea, 
VcBtra est victoria, Teetrl est et gloria, 
Iq cantu et historia, perpes est memorial ' ** 

1 It fell about the Lammas tide, 

When the muir-men win their hay, 
Tlie doughty Douglas bound him to rido 
Into England, to drive a prey. 

2 He chose the Gordons" and the Grjemes,* 

With them the Lindsays, light and gay,*" 
But the Jardines wou'd not with him ride, 
And they rue it to this day.* 

3 And he has burn'd the dales of Tyne, 

And part of Bambrough shire ; 
And three good tow'rs on Reidswire fells, 
He left them all on Are. 

4 And he march'd up to Newcastle, 

And rode it round about: 
" Oh, wha 's the lord of this castle, 

5 But up spake proud Lord Percy then, 

And oh, but he spake hie ! 

** I am the lord of this castle; 

My wife *s the ladye gay." 

C "If thou'rt the lord of this castle, 
Sae weel it pleases me I 
For, ere I cross the Border fells, 
The ane of us shall dee." 

a &e [Scott gives notes on these respective dans or families, and tlicir chiefs, who 
were present at Otterbourne; hut they are too lengthy for insertion here.] 

* The Jardines were a clan of hardy West-Border men. Their chief was Jardin') 
of Appleglrth. Their refusal to ride with Douglas was, probably, the result of odo 
of those perpetual feuds, which nsoaUy rent to pieces a Scottish army. 

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7 He took a lang spear in bis hand, 

Shod with the metal free ; 
Aud for to meet the Douglas there, 
He rode right furiouslie. 

8 But oh, how pale his ladye look'd, 

Frae aflf the castle wall, 
When down before the Scottish spear 
She saw proud Percy fall ! 

9 " Had we twa been upon the green, 

And never an eye to see, 
I wou'd ha'e had you, flesh and fell; * 
But your sword shall gae with me." 

10 " But gae ye up to Otterbourne, 

And wait there dayis three; 
And, if I come not ere three dayis end, 
A fause knight call ye me." 

11 " The Otterbourne 's a bonnie burn ; 

*Ti8 pleasant there to be; 
But there is nought at Otterbourne 
To feed my men and me. 

12 " The deer rins wild on hill and dale. 

The birds fly wild from tree to tree; 
But there is neither bread nor kale, 
To fend f my men and me. 

13 " Yet I will stay at Otterbourne, 

Where you shall welcome be ; 
And, if you come not at three dayia end, 
A fause lord TU call thee." 

14 " Thither will I come," proud Percy said, 

" By the might of Our Ladye ! " 
" There will I bide thee," said the Douglas, 
" My troth I plight to thee." 

15 They lighted high on Otterbourne, 

Upon the bent sae brown; 
They lighted high on Otterbourne, 
' And threw their pallions down. 

* " Fell : " hide. Douglas insiniifttoa that Percy was rescued by bis BOldlera. 
t "Fend:" support. 

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IG And he that had a bonnie boy, 
Sent out his horse to grass; 
And he that had not a bonnie boy, 
His ain servant he was. * 

17 But up then spake a little page, 

Before the peep of dawn: 
" Oh, waken ye, waken ye, my good lord, 
For Percy *s hard at hand." 

18 " Yo lie, ye lie, ye liar loud ! 

Sae loud I hear ye lie; 
For Percy had not men yestreen 
To dight my men and me. 

19 " But I have dream'd a dreary dream. 

Beyond the Isle of Skye: 
I saw a dead man win a fight, 
And I think that man was I." 

20 He belted on his gude braid sword, 

And to the field ho ran; 
But he forgot the helmet good 
That shou'd have kept his brain. 

21 When Percy with the Douglas met, 

I wat he was full fain I 
They swakk^d their swords, till sair they swat, 
And the blood ran down like rain.f 

* FroiRsart deecrlbeB a Scottish host, of the some period, aa consisting of " im. H. 
men of armes, knightia, and sqtdreR, mounted on good horses; and other X. H. men 
of warre. armed, after their gyse, right hardy and flrso, mounted on lytle hacknep, 
the whlcne were never tied, nor kept at hard meat, but leite go to pasture in the 
fleldis, and bushes.'*— CAronyJt/e o/Froistart, translated by Lord BemerS) chapi zrU. 

[The following stanzas, recovered by Mr. Flnlay from recitation, oome In aftar 
stanza 3 of Henf s version, and the above stanza In Scott's text:— 

"Then out and ppak a lltUe wee boy. 
And he was near o' Percy's kin,— 
^Methlnks I see the English host 
A-coming branMng us upon; 

" • Wi' nlno^wacgons scaling wide. 
And seven banners bearing higb; 
It wad do any living gude 
To see their bonme colours fly.' " 

ScottUh BaUadi, toL 1., ^ xvilL] 

t " The Percy and the Douglas mette» 
That ether of other was fayno : 
They schapped together whyll that they sweetie^ 
With swords of fine Collayne,* 

Tyll the bloode from their bassonets ran. 
As the brooke doth in the rayne."— English 

* "CoUayne : " Oolofo* itool 

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22 But Percy, with his good broad sword, 

That cou*d so sharply wound, 
Has wounded Douglas on the brow, 
Till he fell to the ground.* 

23 Then he calPd on his little foot-page, 

And said — " Run speedily, 
And fetch my ain dear sister's so 
Sir Hugh Montgonoery. 

24 " My nephew good," the Douglas said, 

"What recks the death of ane! 
Last night I dream'd a dreary dream, 
And 1 ken the day 's thy ain. 

25 "My wound is deep; I fain wouM sleep; 

Take thou the vanguard of the three, 
And hide me by the braken f bush. 
That grows on yonder lily lee. 

2G " Oh, bury me by the braken bush. 
Beneath the blooming brier ; 
Let never living mortal ken 
That a kindly Scot lies here." 

27 He lifted up that noble lord. 

With the saut tears in his e'e ; 
Ho hid him in the braken bush. 
That his merry-men might not see. 

28 The moon was clear, the day drew near, 

The spears in flinders flew; 

But mony a gallant Englishman 

Ere day the Scotsmen slew. 

29 The Grordons good, in English blood 

They steep'd their hose and shoon ; 
The Lindsays flew like fire about. 
Till all the fray was done. 

80 The Percy and Montgomery met. 
That either of other were fain ; 
They swapped swords, and they twa swat, 
And aye the blood ran down between. 

* [Tbii Btoaaa aeeniB to be derived from the English version. No Scotifih mlnstrol 
tronld ever have dreamt of inventing rach a termination to the combat between 
these two redoubted heroes; and, as shown by Sir Walter Scott in the introdactit n. 
the tragic incident ia as much at yariance with history as it is repulsive to national 

t** Braken:** fern. 

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31 " Now yield thee, yield thee, Percy," he said, 

*' Or else I vow I'll lay thee low!" 
*• To whom must I yield," quoth P>rl Percy, 
" Now that I see it must be so?" 

32 *' Thou shalt not yield to lord nor loun, 

Nor yet ehalt thou yield to mo ; 
But yield ye to the braken bush 
That grows upon yon lily lee ! " 

£3 "I will not yield to a braken bush, 
Nor yet will I yield to a brier ; 
But I wou*d yield to Earl Douglas, 
Or Sir Hugh Montgomery, if he were hers " 

31 As soon as ho knew it was Montgomery, 

He struck his sword's point in the ground ; 
The Montgomery was a courteous knight, 
And quickly took him by the hand. 

33 This deed was done at Otterbourne, 

About the breaking of the day ; 
Eurl Douglas was buried at the braken bush, 
And the Percy led captive away. 


" In preparing this ballad for the press,'^ says Motherwell, ** three 
recited copies, all obtained from i)eople considerably advanced in 
years, have been used. The ballad itself is popular m the shires of 
IteDfrew, Dumbarton, and Stirling ; and though the editor has ob- 
tained no cojiy of it from the south of Scotland, yet he has been 
assured that it is also well known there — a fact of which there can 
be no doubt, as the Border names of Scot and Percy* sufficiently 
identify it with that part of the coimtry. 

*'A8 is to be expected, in all x>oetry which depends on oral 
tradition for its transmission to our own times, the copies of this 
ballad which the editor has recovered do not exactly corresjwnd with 
each other. Numerous, though on the whole but trivial, verbal 
discrepancies exist among them; and iu adjusting the text, ho had 
therefore to rely on his own judgment in selecting, what he con- 
ceived, the best reading from each of his copies. In justice, however, 
to himself, and for the satisfaction of the rigid antiquary, he begs 
leave explicitly to state, that not a single word or expression has 
been admitted into the present text but what was duly authorized 
by one or other of these copies. . . . 

♦ Motherweire version makes the her iuo a daughter of Earl Pewy. But in ai: 
the . ther yorsion.* t^he is ropresonted as ** tho King of England's fair daughter.** 

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"With regard to the proper names in the ballad, considerable 
difficulty Avas exxicricnced. lii the few notes subjoined, the principal 
variations which occur in this particular between the diOerent copies, 
in so far as relates to the minor personages of the drama, are i>ointcd 
out ; but as to the hero himself it is ni^ht to mention in tbis place, 
that two of the copies agree in stvlincr him ' Johnie Scot/ while the 
third names him *Johnie M*lfauchton.' In all other material 
points, none of the copies essentially differ, except in this, that in the 
copy which gave *M'Nauchton' as the hero, the champion with 
whom he measures blades docs not enact that marvellous feat of 
agility which forms so remarkable a feature in the combat scene 
between * Johnie Scot' and the * TaiUiant,' — 

♦ "Who like a Swrallow svlft, 

Owro Johnie^B head did flee.* . . . 

** Whether the §lory of the high achievement recorded in tho 
ballad should of right belong to the name of Scot, or to that of 
M'Nauchton, is a qnestion very hard of solution. Scot of Satchels, 
in that strangest of all literary curiosities, bis metrical History of 
the RiglU Honourable Name of Scot, is dumb on the subject ; and 
Buchanan, in his account of Scottish Surnames, is as profoundly 
silent regarding any one belonging to the ancient family of M*2^auchton, 
to whom the nonour of this notable duel can with any degree of 
likelihood be attributed. For his own part, the editor has been 
somewhat gravelled to make up his mind on this momentous point; 
but at length he has been inclined to concede the adventure perilous, 
even to Jonnnie Scot, whoever ho was, not only on the account that 
two copies of the ballad, and these by far the most perfect in their 
narrative, are quite unanimous on this head, but that these likewise 
retain the word * Tailliant,' which, in the corresponding part of tho 
third copy, is changed into * Champion.* This word Tailliant he has 
never before met with in any ballad ; but it is an evident derivative 
from the French verb Taillader.* 

"Mr. Ritson, in his Historical Dissertation on Scottish Song, gives 
in a foot-note a list of certain unedited ballads, contained in a MS. 
collection which belonged to the late Lord Woodhouselee. In this 
list occurs one, entitled ' Jack the Little Scot ; ' and from the same 
critic mentiooing that many lines and indeed stanzas of ' Gil Morris * 
v/ould be found in said ballad, t the editor, both from the similarity of 
the titles and from their agreeing in the circumstance of having 
stanzas in common ivith 'Gu Morris,' conjectured that it . . . 
end tiie present ballad were one and the same. Ho accordingly 
endeavoured to procure a copy of the ballad alluded to, for the 

Earpose of collation, but without success, as the MSS. of Lord Wood- 
ouselee were, after his death, dispersed among his relatives. 
" Perhaps, after all, it is but of little importance to ascertain this 
fact ; and even though the bsdlads were the same, it is questionable 
whether it would suggest any improvement upon the present text. 

DalzelVs copy < 

tSee stanzas 8, 11, and 21 of this ballad, compared with 11, 20, and 20 of "GU 
Uorloe,'* an(«, p. 913. 

ler : ** " to cut or slash.'* A v tonn, In his ScottUh Ballads, vol. a, in reprinting 
py of ** Grange's Jlallad," changes the word "tailzeoftr," "or tailor," to 
-t. «., " holder or defender." 

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'* As it is, ' Johnnie Scot ' is altogether a yeiy spirited and interest- 
ing composition, highly national in its character, and full of bostleh 
action, and incident. It is jnst snch a one as we wotOd always he 
glad to see transferred to more imperishable records, than the 
decaying memories of Ancient Women, and Time-crazed Men." — 
Motnerwell's Minstrelsy, p. 204. 

DiiTerent versions of the same ballad subsequently appeared, as 
under : — 

L ''Lord John," in Buchan's Gleanings, p. 122. 

In this version the questions asked, as to the name and 
rank of the hero, are, — 

" Is this the Duke of Marlborough? 
Or James, the Scotti.vh king? 
Or is it else some Scottish lord, 
Come here Hrvislting ? " 

II. *< Johnie Buncftan," in Kinloch's Ancient ScoUish Bailads, 
p. 77. 

In this version the hero is designated *' Jack, that little 
Scob ; '' and the questions asked regarding him, are, — 

" Is this the Duke of "Wfaiesberrie? 
Or Jamev, the Scottish king ? 
Or is it a young gentleman. 
That wanta for to be in? '* 

In both of the last-named versions the "Taillianf* is 

metamorphosed into an ''Italian." Referring to Mr. 

Motherwell's statement, that he had "never met with the 

word 'Tailliant' before," Mr. Kinloch remarks: — "It would 

have been singular if he had, as 'Tailliant* is, in hct, 

nothing else but a corruption of ' Italian,' in the recitation 

of the old people from wnom he procured his versions." 

III. "Lang Johnny Moir," in Buchan's Ancient Ballads, voL L, 

p. 248 ; which marvellous production will be found in the 

Appendix to this work. 

Wc are disposed to think that the ' 'Johnnie Scot" or "M'Nauchton'* 

of the foUowmg ballad is one of " the popular heroes of romance" 

referred to by Gawain Douglas, in the lines already quoted from his 

P(Uiceo/ Honour, atUe, p. 403. The line specially naming him reads — 

"How Hay of Nauchton flew in Madin land ; *' 

and it is thus explained in a note by Sir Walter Scott :— " Hay of 
Nachton I take to be the knight, mentioned by Wyntown, whose 
fieats of war and travel may have become the subject of a romance 
or ballad. Ho fought in Flandera, under Alexander, Earl of Mar, in 
1408, and is thus described : — 

'Lord of the Nachtano, Schiro William, 
Ane hnnest knycht, and of gud fame. 
A traTallt knycht lang before than.* 

And again, before an engagement, — 

' The Lord of Naehtane, Schire William, 
Tho Hay, a knycht than of gud fame, 
Uad Schire Gilbert^ the Hay, knycht.' 

^Crmjfkit, b. iz., o. S7. 

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I apprehend we should read, ' How Hay of Nachton slew in Madin 
Land.' Perhaps Madin is a corraption for Maylin Land, or 
Milan." * 

With the exception of the first six stanzas, Motherwell's version of 
" Johnie Scot " is the one chiefly followed. 

In a note to his MijistreUy, Introduction, p. c, Mr. Motherwell 
inserts ** the following passage, illustrative of the famous feat of arms 
accomplished by Johme Scot," which, says he, *'was kindly pointed 
out to me by Mr. Sharpe : — James Macgill of lindores, having killed 
Sir Robert Balfour, of Denmiln, in a auel, immediately went up to 
London, in order to procure his pardon, which, it seems, the king 
(Charles II.) offered to grant him, upon condition of his fighting an 
Italian gladiator, or bravo, or, as he was called, a bully, which, it is 
said, none could be found to do. Accordingly, a large stage was erected 
for the exhibition before the king and court. Sir James, it is said, 
stood on the defensive till the biuly had spent himself a little ; being 
a taller man than Sir James, in his mighty gasconading and bravado- 
ing, ho actually leaped over the knight as if he would swallow him 
alive ; but, in attempting to do this a second time. Sir James ran his 
sword up through him, and then called out, ' I have spitted him, let 
them roast him who will.' This not only procured his pardon, but 
he was also knighted on the spot.— Small s Account of Roman A'nJtX- 
quUiea, recently discovered in Fife, p. 217." 

Three different versions of a ballad, evidently belonging to the 
same circle, appear under the respective titles of ** Lord Thomas of 
Winsberry," in Buchan's Gleanings, p. 127 ; "Lord Thomas of Wines- 
berrie," in Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Poems, p. 89; and **Lord 
Thomas of Winesberry and the King's Daugliter," in Buchan's 
Ancient Ballads, vol. E, p. 212. 

Mr. Kinloch supposes it to refer to "the secret expedition of James 
V. to France, in 1536, in search of a wife," and quotes the account 
thereof from Pitscottie's Chronicles of Scotland, 8vo, vol ii., p. 363, 
et seq. Mr. Buchan, however, combats this theory. A collated and 
slightly emendated copy of "Lord Thomas of Winesberry" follows 
*' Johnnie Scot " next in order. 

1 Johnnie has on to London gone, 

To London gone has he ; 
Johnnie has on to London gone, 
King's bannerman to be. 

2 Ho had not been in London town, 

It 's but a little while, 
Till the King of England's fair daughter. 
On him did fondly smile. 

* But if the present ballad relates to " Hay of Nancbton," the positions of the 
combatants seem simply reyersed by the test of Oawain Donglas as it reads; while 
Sir Walter Scott's Bupgested emendation would, by thla identiflcation and reversal, 
proTe not only nnuecedsary, but erroneous. 

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But Johnnie 's back to Scotland gone, 
To hunt in the greenwood free ; 

And left Iris true love all alone, 
And a soiTy ladye was she. 

For Johnnie 's on to Scotland gone, 
1 wot he 's on with speed ; 

Ob, Johnnie's on to Scotland gone, 
And as great was his need. 

Then word unto the king has gone, 

His daughter mourn'd so ; 
And word has also to him gone, 

Of what did cause her woe. 

But when the king heard word of it^ 

An angry man was he; 
And he cast her into prison strong, 

To pine there till she'd dee. 

7 Then Johnnie thought upon his love 

He dare not go to see ; 
And he calPd on his waiting-man, 

His name was Germanie :* 
" It 's thou must to fair England go. 

Bring me that gay ladyc. 

G " And here it is, a silken sark, 
Her ain hand sew'd the sleeve; 
Bid her come to the merry greenwood, 
At her friends ask no leave." 

9 He rode till he came to the castle gate. 
And ho tirPd at the pin ; 
" Oh, wha is there? " said the proud porter ; 
" But I darena let thee in." 

10 It 's he rode up, and he rode down, 
He rode the castle about. 
Until he spied a fair ladye, 
At the window looking out. 

* '" Gormanle : * all the copids which mention Johnnio'a waltlng-m&a conear in ciT-injr 
this namo, which is probably deacriptiYe of lii oountry. In one copy, he, In plaoeof 
Johnnie's uncle, Ib the person who heroically Offers vm|;er of baUlOi But in anothor 
copy the whole words and actions ascribed to Johnnie's uncle, who *spikko bo 
bitterllOk' ore transferred to 'Qude King Jamca.' "— MotherweU, 

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11 *' Here is a silken sark," he said, 

** Thine ain hand sew'd the sleeve ; 
And ye must go to the merry greenwood, 
At your friends ask no leave.*' 

12 " The castle it is high, young man, 

And well wall'd round about ; 
My feet they are in fetters strong, 
And how can I got out? 

IIJ " My garters are the black iron, 
And oh, but they be cold ! 
My girdle 's * of the sturdy steel, 
Instead of beaten gold. 

14 " But had I paper, pen, and ink, 

With candle at my command. 

It 's I would write a long letter 

To Johnnie, in fair Scotland." 

15 Then she has written a braid letter, 

And seaPd it with her hand ; 
And sent it to the merry greenwood. 
With her ain boy at command. 

16 The first line of it Johnnie read , 

A loud, loud laugh laugh'd he ; 

But ho had not read a line but two, 

Till the tears did blind his o'e. 

17 " Oh, I must up to England go. 

Whatever me betide. 
For to relieve my fair ladye, 
And claim her for my bride." 

18 Then up spake Johnnie's auld nuthcr, 

A well-spoken woman was she : 
** If you do go to England, Johnnie, 
I may take fareweel of thee." 

19 And out and spake his father then, 

A noble lord was he : 
" If thou unto fair England go, 
You'll ne'er come hame to me." 

20 But out and spake his uncle then, 

And he spake bitterlie : 
" Five hundred of itiy good life-guards 
Shall bear him companie." 

• "My breoBtplata's," &c— MotherwelL 


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21 When they were all on saddle set, 

They were comely to hehold ; 
The hair that hung o^er Johnnie^s neck 
Shone like the hnks of gold. 

22 When they went riding all* away, 

Most pleasant for to see, 
There was not so much as a married man 
In Johnnie's companie. 

23 Johnnie himseP was the foremost man 

In the company did ride ; 
His uncle was the second man, 
With his rapier by his side. 

24 The first gude town that Johnnie came to, 

He made the bells be rung ; 
And when he rode the town all o*er, 
Ho made the massf be sung. 

25 The next gude town that Johnnie came to, 

He made the drums beat round ; 
And the third gude town that he came to, 
He made the trumpets sound.j: 

26 And when they came to King Henry's tow'rs. 

They rode them round about ; 
And who saw he but his own true love. 
At a window looking out I 

27 " Oh I the doors are bolted with iron and steel, 

So are the windows about ; 
And my feet they are in fetters strong, 
And how can I win out? " 

28 But when they came to the castle yett. 

They scarce tirl'd at the pin, 
For the porter was ready waiting there. 
To open and let them in. 

•"Went riding all."— Motherwell's text reade, "Were all marcbing," which, 
looking to the context, la an evident absurdity. Antiquarian precision u all very 
well when it is really regulated by " judgment ; " but if not so regulated, it degenerates 
into the worst kind of pedantry. 

t "Mas?."— Buchan. " PBalma."— Motherwell. 

X Motherwell b Tersion adds— 

" Tin King Honry and all his merry men 
A-marveU'd at the soimd." 

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29 « Art thou the King of Aulsberry ? * 
Or art thou King of Spain? 
Or art thou one of our gay Scots lords, 
M*Nachton to thy name?" 

80 " I*m not the King of Aulsberry, 
Nor yet the King of Spain; 
But I am one of our gay Scots lords, 
Johnnie Scot I am calPd by name." 

31 When Johnnie came before the king, 

He fell low down on his knee: 
" If Johnnie Scot be thy name," he said, 

" As I trow well it be; 
Then to-morrow mom, by eight o'clock, 

It 's high hang'd thou shalt bo." 

• "It mav puzzle the hi£>torlan to giro anv accouut of this k!nsr's reiirn, or to flx 
the limits or his dominions; being associated, however, with the King of Spain, this 
circmnstance may afford some cae for obtaining information on those important 
points. One copy of the ballad has, * Art thou the Duke of Mulberry?' another, * Art 
thou the Duke of York?* but, for the Bake of heraldlo Justioe, the present reading 
was preferred. This stanza^ and that which precedes it, we give now as they occur 
in the throe different copies of the ballad recovered by the emtor, so tliat the reader 
may haye it in his power to choose the reading which hits his fancy. 


u • Are you the Duke of York?* he said, 
' Or James, our Scottish King? 
Or are you one of our Scottish lordR, 
From hunting new come home? ' 

<* * Fm not the Duke of York,' he said, 
' Nor James, your Scottish King; 
But I'm one of the Scottli^h lords, .. 
Earl Hector is my name.' 

"jomnnE scot. 

•* ♦Art thou the King of AulRlicrry? 
Or art thou the King of Spain ? 
Or art thou one of our gay Scots lords, 
H'Nachton to thy name?' 

" • rm not the King of Aulsberry, 
Nor yet the King of Spain ; 
But I am one of our gay Scots lords, 
Johnnie Scot I am cail'd by name.* 


" * Are you the Duke of Mulberry? 
Or James, our Scottish King ? 
Are you the Duke of Mulberr>', 
From tScoilaud new come home?' 

" • I'm not the Duke of Mulberry, 
Nor James, our Scottish KLug; 
But I am a true Scottishman, 
M*Nachto& is my name.' "•^Motherwell 

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32 Out and spoke Johnnie's uncle then, 

And he spake bitterlic : 
*' Before that we see fair Johnnie hangM, 
We'll all fight till we die." 

33 *' But is there a Tailliant about your court 

Will fight a duel with me? 
For ere I'd be hang'd," brave Johnnie said, 
" On his sword I will die." 

34 " Say on, say on," then said the king, 

*' It is well spoken of thee; 
For there is a Tailliant in my court 
Shall fight you manfullie." 

35 Oh, some are to the good greenwood, 

And some are to the plain ; 
The Queen with all her ladyes fair. 

The King with his merry men, 
Either to see fair Johnnie flee, 

Or else to see him slain. 

36 They fought on, and Johnnie fought on. 

With swords of tempered steel, 

Until the draps of red, red blood 

Ran trinkliog down the field.* 

37 And thev be^an at eight of the morn, 

And tney fought on till three ; 
When the Tailliant, like the swallow swift, 
O'er Johnnie's head did flee. 

38 But Johnnie, being a clever young boy, 

He whecrd him round about ; 
And on the point of Johnnie's broadsword , 

The Tailliant he slew out. 


39 " A priest, a priest," fair Johnnie cried, 

" To wed my love and me !" ' 

" A clerk, a clerk," her fether cried, | 

** To sum her tocher free." 

40 " I'll none of your gold," fair Johnnie cried, 

" Nor none of your other gear ; 
But I will have my own fair bride, | 

For this day I've won her dear." 

* Tho following stanza oocnrs here In Motherweirs Toreion:— , 

"They fought on, and Johnle fonght on, ' 

Tbey fought right manfallio, i 

Till they left not alive in a* the king's court I 

A man bat only threo " 

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41 He 's ta'en hia true love by the hand, 

He led her up the plain : 
" Have you any more of your English dogs, 
That you want to have slain?" 

42 He put a little horn to his mouth, 

He blew't baith loud and shrill ; 
And Honour is into Scotland gone. 
In spite of England's skill. 

43 He put his little horn to his mouth, 

He blew it o'er again ; 
And aye the sound the good horn made. 
Was — " Johnnie and his men ! " 


See introduction to preceding ballad. 

1 It fell upon a time, that the proud King of France 

Went a-hunting for five months and more. 
And his daughter fell in love with Lord Winesberry, 
Who from Scotland was newly come o'er. 

2 Wlien her father came home from hunting the deer. 

And his daughter before him came, 
Oh, she look'd sick, and very, very sick, 
For her fair colour it was wan. 

3 " What ails thee, what ails thee, my daughter Jean ? 

What makes tnee to look sae wan ? 
You've either been sick, and very, very sick, 
Or ye are in love with a man." 

4 " You're welcome, you're welcome, my dear father, 

You're welcome name to ye're ain ; 
For I ha'e been sick, and very, very sick, 
Thinking long for your coming again. 

5 " Yet pardon, yet pardon, my dear father, 

Your pardon I pray grant to me ; 
[For I am also in love with a man. 
Whom I wish my dear husband to be."] 

G " Oh, is jour love laid on a man of might ? 
Or is it on one that is mean ? 
Or is it to one of the rank robbers 
That I took prisoner in Spain?" 

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7 *' Oh, my love is not laid on a man of might, 

Nor on a prisoner from Spain ; 
But on Lord Thomas of Winesberry, 
Who serves me as chamberlain."* 

8 The king calPd on his merry men all, 

Whom he paid meat and fee : 
** Go seize Lord Thomas of Winesberry, 
And bring him here to mo. 

9 " Go seize Lord Thomas of Winesberry, 

And bring him here to me ; 
For to-morrow, ere I eat or drink. 
It's high hang'd he shall be." 

10 His daughter tum'd her round about, 

While the tear did blind her e'e ; 

" If ye do any ill to Lord Thomas, 

Yo will never get gude of me."t 

11 When Lord Thomas was brought before the king, 

His clothing was of the silk; 
Ills fine yellow hair like threads of gold, 
And his skin white as the milk. I 

1 2 And when he came in before the king, 

He kneePd low down on his knee; 
Saying — " What is your will with me, my liege ? 
Oh, what is your will with me ? " 

13 " No wonder, no wonder. Lord Thomas, 

That my daughter so loves thee ; 
For were you a woman, as you are a man, 
My own love you wou'd be. § 

* " And for him I must soffer pain.''— Bachan's Okanings. 

t Tho following stanzas come in at Uiis placo In the Cfltanin^ Torsion :' 

" 'Get np, get im. Lord Thomos,' they said, 
* Get up and bomid your way, 
For the Idng has sworn, by his hononr'd crown. 
That to-morrow is thy dying day.' 

** 'Oh, what have I robb'd? or what haT3 I stolen? 
Or what have I kill'd or slain? 
That I shonld be afraid to speak to your king, 
For I have done him no wrong.' " 

t " His hair was like tho threads o* gowd. 

His eyes like crystal dear."— Buchan's Ancient Ballads. See "Gil Horice,** 

S Compare with stanza 34 of "Gil Morice," ante^ p. 830. 

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14 " But if you will marry ray daughter Jean, 

With the truth of your right hand, 
You'll get part both of my gold and my gear, 
And the third part of my land." 

15 " Yes, I will marry your daughter Jean, 

With the truth of my right hand ; 
But take none of your gold nor none of your gear, 
IVe enough in fair Scotland. 

16 " Yes, I will marry your daughter Jean, 

Tho' I care not for your land; 
For she will be queen, and I will be kinj^, 
When we come to fair Scotland." 


From Ramsay's Evergreen^ vol. i., p. 78.* 

"Antiquaries have differed in opinion regarding the tigQ of this 
composition; but the best informed have agreed in looking upon it 
as of coeval production, or nearly so, with the historical event on 
which it is founded ; and in this opinion the present writer entirely 
coincides.*)* Ko edition prior to Bamsay's time has been preserved, 
though it was printed in 1668, as we are informed by Mr. Laing, in 
his Early Metrical TaleSj p. 14 ; an edition of that date having been 
in the carious library of old Robert Mylne. 

" In the Complaynt of Scotland, 1549, this ballad is mentioned. In 
the PoUmo Middinia its tune is referred to : — 

* Intorea ante alios dux piperlarins heros, 
Prajcodens magnamqae gerens cum burdino pypaxn, 
Inciplt Harlai conctlB sonare Batelluzn.* 

And in a MS. collection of tunes, written in the hand of Sir 
William Mure of Rowallan, which I have seen, occurs ' the battle 
of harlaw.'4^ From the extreme popularity of the song, it is not to 

*"7%« Etergrem; being a collection of Scots poems wrote by the Ingeniona 
before 1600." 2 vols. 12mo, Edinburgh, 1724. 

t In referring to the " sneit melodlns sangie** mentioned In the Ccmplaynt qf Scot- 
land, Bitson, who was OBually eceptical regarding Scotish tradltlona, thus expresses 
himself regarding " The Battel of Havrlaw : " " This is presumed to be the fine poem 
printed in The Evergreen, which, with submissian to the opinion of the late ijord 
Bailee, may, for anything that appears either in or out of it to the contrary, be as 
old as the Uth century.**i— Bitson's ScotUh Song, toL I., Historical Essay, p. zulL 

tin the notes and lUustratlonB to Johnson's Miuicca Museum, Mr. Stenhonse 
Inserts (p. 447) the "Battle of Hardlaw: a Pibroch," as taken from "a folio 
manuscript of Scots tunes, of considerable antiquity," in his possession. And Mr. 
Maidment mentions that, ^*in that exceeding rare Oolltciion of Ancient Scots Music, 
by Daniel Dow, dated about 1776, there occurs, p. 28, ' The Battle of Hara Law.'"— 
Seotish BaUads and Songs, toI. i^ p. 300. 

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he wondered at tliough every early imprint of it haa now disappeared. 
Ramsay probably gave his copy from a stall edition of his own day ; 
which copy has successively been edited by Mr. Sibbald, "Mr, Finlay, 
and Mr. Laing, and has appeared in other collections. A copy, 
apparently taken from recitation, is ^ven in TKe Thistle of Scotland, 
Aberdeen, 1823. The editor of which, among a good deal of stuff 
which is not very comprehensible, points out various localities, and 
cives three stanzas of a burlesque song on the same subject^ popular 
m the North." — Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. Ixii., 
note 2. 

The ballad gives a minute and accurate account of the circum- 
stances which gavo rise to, as well as of the progress and issue o^ the 
Battle of Harlaw, fought, under the regency or the Duke of Albany, 
in the district of Garioch, Aberdeenshire, near the village of Harlaw, 
and close to the highway between the town of Inverness and the 
city of Aberdeen, on the 24th of July, 1411, between Donald, Lord 
of the Isles, and the Earl of Mar.* The result of this bloody and 
obstinate contest between the Highlanders of the north-west and the 
Lowlanders of the east of Scotland, was to secure the permanent and 
undoubted supremacy of the Lowlanders. In the summer of the 
following year, the forces of the Recent attacked the Lord of the 
Isles in Lis own domains, compelled him to relinquish his assumed 
independence, dve up all claim to the earldom of Ross, consent to 
become a vassal of the Scotish crown, and to deliver hostages for his 
future good behaviour— in terms of a treaty concluded at Polgilbe, or 
Polgillip, now Lochgilp, in the district of Knapdale, Argyleshire. (See 
Ty tier's History of Scotland, vol. iii., edit. 1864, under the years 1411- 
12, and note, p. 334.) The text which f )Uows is modernized in the 
orthography, and it is followed by the traditionary version of the 
ballad as taken down from recitation. 

1 Fhae Dunidier as I came througb, 

Down by the hill of Banachio, 
Alangst the lands of Garioch, 

Great pitie was to hear and eeo 

The noise and dulesome harmonic, 
(That ever that dreary day did daw !) 

Cryin* the coronach* on hie, 
Alas, alas, for the Harlaw ! 

2 I marvelPd what the matter meant ; 

All folks were in a fiery farie : * 
I wist nocht wha was fae or friend, 
Yet quietly I did me carrie. 

• Alexander Stewart, natural son of Alexander, Earl of Bachan and Bom. Tfao 
latter, who is best known by his BObriqnet of the Wolf of Badenoch, was a brother 
of the Regent Albany. The leader of the royal forces was therefore nephew to the 
Bogent, cousin to James I. King of Boots, then a captiye in KnglondL and to the 
assumed hero of '* Young Waters/* which follows He is also the Earl of Mar 
referred to in note (*) to "Johnnie Scot," ante, p. 432. 

** "Coronach: " dirge or lament for the dead. 

& '* Fiery farie: '* confusion and consternation. 

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But since the days of auld King Harrie 
Sic slauchter was not heard nor seen ; 

And there I had nae time to tarrie, 
For bisiness in Aberdeen. 

Thus as I walkit on the way, 

To luverury as I went, 
I met a man, and bade him stay, 

Requesting him to make me *qnaint 

Of the beginning and the event 
That happened there at the Harlaw; 

Then he beseech*d me to take tent,« 
And he the truth should to me schaw. 

" Great Donald of the Isles did claim 
Unto the lands of Ross some richt. 

And to the Governour he came. 

Them for to have, gif that he micht, 
AVha saw his interest was but sliclit; 

And therefore answered with disdain. 
He hasted hame baith day and nicht. 

And sent nae bodword* back again. 

*' But Donald, richt impatient 
Of that answer Duke Robert gave, 

He vowM to God omnipotent. 
All the hale" lands of Ross to have. 
Or else be graithit in his grave. ** 

He wou'd not quat his richt for nocht, 
Nor bo abused like a slave; 

That bargin shou'd be dearly bocht. 

" Then hastilie he did command 

That all his weir-men sliouM convene; 
Hk ane weel harnessed frae hand. 

To meet and hear what he did mean. 

Ho waxed wrath and vowed tein; • 
Swearin* he wou'd surprise the North, 

Subdue the burgh of Aberdeen, 
Mearns, Angus, and all Fyfe to Forth. 

" Thus with the weir-men of the Isles, 
Wha were aye at his bidding boun' ; 

With mony mae, with force and wiles, 
Richt far and near, baith up and doun; 

•"Tent:" heed. 

* " Bodword: " mesaogo. 

«"H»le:" whole. 

(< * Oraithit^" &c: buried clad in his annoor. 

••'Teln:'* revenge. 

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Through monnt and muir, frae toun to tonn, 
Alangst the lands of Ross he roars. 

And all obeyed at his bandonn, * 
Even frae the north to soutbem shores. 

8 " Then all the countrie-men did yield, 

For nae resistance durst they mak\ 
Nor offer battle in the field, 

By force of arras to bear him back. 

But they resolved all, and spak\ 
That best it was for their behove, 

They should him for their chieftain tak'. 
Believing wecl he did them love. 

9 " Then he a proclamation made, 

All men to meet at Inverness, 
Through Murray-land to make a raid, 

Frae Arthursyre unto Spey-ness; 

And furthermair he sent express 
To show his colours and ensenzio, ^ 

To all and sundry, mair and less, 
Throughout the bounds of Boyne and Enzio. 

10 " And then through fair Strathbogie land, 

His purpose was for to pursue ; 
And wnasoever durst gainstand. 

That race they shou d full sairly rue; 

Then he bade all his men be true, 
And him defend bv force and slicht; 

And promised them rewards enow, * 
And make them men of meikle micht. 

11 ^' Without resistance, as he said, 

Through all these parts he stoutly pass'd, 
Where some were wae, and some were glad ; 

But Qarioch was all aghast. 

Through all these fields ho sped liim fast, 
For sic a sight was never seen ; 

And then, forsooth, he langed, at last, 
To see the burgh of Aberdeen. 

12 "To hinder this proud enterprise, 

The stout and mighty Earl of Mar, | 

With all his men in arms did rise, 
Even frae Curgarf to Craigy var ; | 

■ "Bandonn:*' Command. 

b *' Ensenzle : " ensigns. j 

•"Know:" enongh. 

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And down the side of Don right far, 
Angus and Mearns did all convene, 

To fight, or Donald came sao nar 
The royal burgh of Aberdeen. 

13 " And thus the martial Earl of Mar 

March'd with his men in right array ; 
Before his enemy was aware, 

His banner bauldly did display ; 

For weel enough they kenn'd the way. 
And all their Eomblance weel they saw ; 

Withoutin danger or delay, 
Come hastily to the Harlaw. 

14 " With him the brave Lord Ogilvy, 

Of Angus sheriff principal ; 
The Constable of gude Dundee, 

The vanguard led before them all ; 

Suppose in number they were small. 
They tirst right bauldly did pursue. 

And made their faes before thorn fall, 
Wha then that race did sairly rue. 

15 " And then the worthy Lord Saltonn, 

The strong undoubted Laird of Drum, 
The stalwart Laird of Lawriestoun, 

With ilk their forces all and some ; 

Panmuir, with all his men, did come ; 
The Provost of brave Aberdeen, 

With trumpets-and with tuck of drum, 
Came shortly in their armour scheen. 

16 " These with the Earl of Mar came on, 

In the rear-ward right orderlie. 
Their enemies to set upon ; 

In awful manner, hardilie, 

Together vow'd to live and dee. 
Since they had marched mony miles. 

For to suppress the tyrannie 
Of doubted* Donald of the Isles. 

17 " But he, in number ten to ane, 

Right Bubtilly alang did ride, 
With Malcomtosh, and fell Maclean, 

With all their power at their side ; 

Presuming on their strength and pride, 
Without all fearx)r any awe. 

Right bauldly battle till abide, 
Hard by ^he town of fair Harlaw. 
» "Doubted:" redoubted. 

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18 " The armies met, the trumpet somidR, 

The dandriDg drums aloud did tuck : 
Baith armies byding on the bounds, 

Till ane of them the fields should bruik ;• 

Nae help was therfore, nane wou'd jouk;* 
Fierce was the fight on ilka side, 

And on the ground lay many a bouk,^ 
Of them that there did battle bide. 

19 " With doubtsome victory they dealt; 

The bluidy battle lastit lang ; 
Each man his neighbour's force there felt, 

The weakest aft-times gat the wrang ; 

There was nae mowis'* there them amang, 
Naething was heard but heavy knocks; 

That echo made a dulcful sang 
Thereto resounding frae the rocks. 

20 ** But Donald's men at last gave back, 

For they were all out of array ; 
The Earl of Mar's men through them brak', 

Pursuing sharply in their way, 

Their enemies to take or slay, 
By dint of force to gar them yield ; 

Wha were right blythe to win away, 
And sae for feardness • tint-^ the field. 

21 '' Then Donald fled, and that full fast. 

To mountains hich, for all his micht, 
For he and his were all aghast. 

And ran till they were out of sicht: 

And sae of Ross he lost his richt, 
Though mony men with him he brocht; 

Towards the Isles fled day and nicht, 
And all ho won was dearlie bocht. 

22 " This is (quod he) the richt report 

Of all that I dia hear and knaw; 
Though my discourse be something short, 

Take this to be a richt sooth saw.' 

Contrarie God and the king's law, 
There was spilt meikle Christian bluid, 

Into the battle of Harlaw ; 
This is the sum, sae I conclude. 

• " BroDc : " retein poBsesslon of. * "feardness : ** fright or covardloai 
» •• Jook : " bend to avoid a blow. / " Tint: " lost 

• •* Book: " body. ^ " Sooth saw:" truo narraklro. 
<**Mowl8:'* Josting. 

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23 '' But yet a bonnie while abide, 

And I shall make thee clearly ken, 
What elauchter was on ilka side, 

Of Lawland and of Highland men, 

Wha for their awin have ever been ; 
These lazy loons mi^ht weel be spared, 

Chased like deers into their dens, 
And gat their wages for reward. 

24 " Malcomtosh, of the clan head-chief, 

Maclean with his great hauchty head, 
With all their succour and relief, 

Were dule fully dung to the deid ; 

And now we are free'd of their feid," 
They will not lang to come again; 

Thousands with them, without romead, 
On Donald's side, that day were slain. 

25 " And on the other side were lost, 

Into the field that dismal day, 
Chief men of worth (of meikle cost). 

To be lamented sair for aye: 

The Lord Saltoun of Rothemay, 
A man of micht and meikle main; 

Great dolour was for his decay, 
That sac unhappily was slain. 

26 "Of the best men amang them was 

The gracious ^de Lord Ogilvy, 
The sherilf-principal of Angus, 

Benowu'a for truth and equitic. 

For faith and magnanimitie; 
Ho had few fallows^ in the field, 

Yet fell by fatal destinie, 
For ho naeways wou'd grant to yield. 

27 " Sir James Scrimgeour of Duddop, knicht, 

Great Constable of fair Dundee, 
Unto the duleful death was dicht; 

The king's chief bannerman was he, 

A valiant man of chivalrie, 
Whose predecessors wan that place 

At Spey, with gude King William frie * 
'Gainst Murray, and Macduncan's race. 

a »'FoId:'* foud. 
fr "Fallows:" equals. 
««Frie:" nobly. 

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28 " Gude Sir Alexander Irvine, 

The much renowned laird of Dram, 
Nane in his days was better seen; 

When they were 'sembled all and some; 

To praise him we shou'd not be dumb, 
For valour, wit, and worthiness; 

To end his days he there did come. 
Whoso ransom is remediless. 

20 '' And there the Enicht of Lawriestoun 

Was slain into his armour scheen; 
And gude Sir Robert Davidson, 

Wha Provost was of Aberdeen; 

The Enicht of Panmure as was seen, 
A mortal man in annour bricht; 

Sir Thomas Murray, stout and keen. 
Left to the warld their last gude nicht. 

SO ^^ There was not, since Eing Eenneth^s days, 

Sic strange intestine cruel strife 
In Scotland seen, as ilk man says, 

Where mony likelie lost their life; 

Which made divorce 'tween man and wife. 
And mony children fatherless. 

Which in this realm has been full rife; 
Lord I help these lands, our wrangs redress! 

31 " In July, on Saint James his even. 

That lour-and-twenty dismal day, 
Twelve hundred, ten score, and eleven, 

Of years since Christ, the sooth to say; 

Men will remember as they may, 
When thus the veritie they knaw; 

And mony a ane may mourn for aye 
The grim battle of the Harlaw." 



A set of this, as communicated by Lady Jane Scott to Professor 
Aytoun, appeared in Ballads of Scotland^ vol. i., p. 75. And another 
set, almost identical, but with three additioDal stanzas, was oom- 
municated by a Mr. A. Ferguson to Notts and Queries, third series, 
voL vii., May 20, 1865. 

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This last is the one here followed, with the exception of some 
little change in the orthography, and one or two verbal correctiona. 
The additional etanzaa are those here numbered 15, 16, and 18. 

1 As I came in by Dunidier, 

And down by Wetherha*, 
There were fifty thousand Hielan'men, 
All marching to Harlaw. 

{Clwrua.) — In a dree, dree, drady drumtie dree. 

2 As I came on, and farther on, 

And down and by Balquhain, 
Oh, there I met Sir James the Rose, 
With him Sir John the Graeme. 

3 *' Oh, came ye frae the Hielan's, man? 

And came ye all the wye? 
Saw ye MacDonell and his men, 
Come marching frae the Skye?" 

4 " Yes, she came frae the Hielan's, man, 

And she came all the wye; 
And she saw MacDonell and his men, 
Come marching frae the Skye." 

5 " Oh, were ye near, and near enough? 

Did ye their numbers see ? 
Come, tell to me, John Hielan'man, 
What might their numbers be?" 

G " Yes, she was near, and near enough, 
And she their numbers saw : 
There were fifty thousand Hielan'men 
All marching for Harlaw." 

7 " If that be true," quo' James the Rose, 

** We'll no come meikle speed; 
We'll cry upon our merry men, 
And turn our horses' heads." 

8 " Oh no, oh no !" quo' John the GrsBme, 

" That thing maun never be ; 
The gallant Graemes were never beat,— 
We'll try what we can dee." 

[^.^.^The battle has now commenced and is raging.] 

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9 Ab I came on, and farther on, 
And down and by Harlaw, 
They fell full close on ilka side, 
Sic fun* ye never saw. 

10 They fell full close on ilka side, 

Sic fun ye never saw ; 
For Hielan* swords gaed clash for clash, 
At tiie battle of Ilarhiw! 

11 The Hielan'men with their lang swords, 

They laid on us full sair ; 
And they drave back our merry men. 
Three acres, breadth and raair. 

12 Brave Forbes did to his brother say,— 

" Now, brother, dinna ye see. 
They beat us back on ilka side. 
And we'll be forced to flee!" 

13 " Oh no, oh no, my brither dear, 

That thing maun never be ; 
Take ye your gude sword in your hand, 
Ana come your ways with me." 

14 " Oh no, oh no, my brither dear. 

The clans they are ower Strang ; 
And they drive back our merry men 
With swords baith sharp and lang." 

15 Brave Forbes unto his men did say, — 

" Now take your rest awhile, 
Until I send to Drumminnor, 
To fetch my coat of mail." 

IG Brave Forbes' henchman then did ride, 
And his horse did not fail ; 
For in twa hours and a quarter 
lie brought the coat of mail. 

17 Then back to back the brithers twa 
Gaed in amang the thrang ; 
And they swept down the Hielan'men, 
"With swords baith sharp and lang. 

• Bather grim sport. Profeasor Aytonn's copy, in place of " fun," rMds " Btralln,'* 
or strokes. The preceding version says truly (stanza 19), that ''There was oaa 
mowis "— :. e., no joke. 

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18 MacDonell he was yoiin^ and stout, 

Had on his cocit of mail, 
And he has gane oat thro' them all, 
To try his hand liimsol'. 

19 The first ae stroke that Forbes struck, 

Made the great MacDonell reel ; 
The second stroke that Forbes struck, 
The bravo MacDonell fell.* 

20 And siccan a pilleuricliie,t 

The like ye never saw, 
As was amang the Ilielan'men, 
When they saw MacDonell fa'. 

21 And when they saw that he w^as dead, 

They turn'd and ran awa; 
And they buried him in Legget's Den, 
A large mile frae Harlaw. J 

22 They rode, they ran, and some did gang, — 

They were of small record ; 

For Forbes and his merry men 

Slew maist all by the road. 

23 On Munonday at morniii;i:, 

The battle it began ; 
On Saturday at gloamin\ 

Ye'd scarce tell wha had wan. 

21 And sic a weary burying, 
The like ye never saw, 
As there was the Sunday after that. 
On the muirs down by Harlaw. 

25 And if Hielan' lasses speer at ye 
For them that gaed awa. 
Ye may tell them plain, and plain enough. 
They're sleeping at Harlaw! 

* MacDonoll did cot fall. See pracedlog version, Btanza 2L 

t Profemor Aytotiu^a copy reads '* Pitlarichie/* Either or both seem Aberdeon- 
Bhire words, meauiug the samo as HuUabuIoo in ordinary Scots, or Hubbub in 

% " Somo twa three mllos awa."— JV o/« and Querist version. 

Neither are accurate. Lcggei's Den Ls a faim steading, or house, situated alout 
half a mile to the west cf the batUefleld. 

Mr. TyUer Buggesta, that the tomb pointed out as that of Donald, Lord of the Islos. 
may either be that "of the chief of Maclean, or of Macintosh, both of \7h02u fell in 
the batUe."— //Mfory 0/ ScQiland^ toL iii., note, p. 884 (edit 18CC), 

2 11 

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Two versions of this ballad have appeared. For the pablication 
of the first, which was piinted ''at Glasgow, in one single sheet,* 
the world is indebted ... to the Imy Jean Home (or Home), 
sister to the Earl of Hume (or Home), who died at Gibraltar," 1761. 

The ballad appeared shortly thereafter in Percy's BeUgues, vol ii.; 
and it is there suggested that it ''covertly alludes to the indiscreet 
partiality which Queen Anne of Denmark is said to have shown for 
the bonnie Earl of Murray;" which trade incident fonns the theme 
of another ballad, further on in this worK. 

A second, much longer and more circumstantial, version appears in 
Mr. Buchan's Ancient Ballads, vol. i., p. 15. In a note, p. 291, Mr. 
Buchan refers to the previous version as "a mutilated edition of this 
beautiful old ballad." He also states it as his opinion, "that the 
'Young Waters' was David Graham of Fintray, who was found 
guilty, and beheaded the 16th February) 1592, for being concerned 
lu a Popish plot ; — ^the particulars of which are to be found recorded 
in Spotiawood's History, p. 391." 

Dr. Robert Chambers, who printed an edition, collated from the two 
preceding, in his Scottish Ballads (p. 29), has there suggested, " That 
it alludes to the fate of some one of the Scottish nobl^ executed by 
James I. , after his return from his captivity in England. It is very 
probable," he adds, " that Walter Stewart, second son of the Duke of 
Albany, is the individual referred to. Many circumstances in the 
ballad go to prove this : — the name^ which may be a corruption of 
Walter ; the mention of the Headmg (beheadmg) Hill of Stirling, 
which is known to have been the very scene ot Walter Stewart^B 
execution ; the relationship which ' Young Waters ' cUdms with the 
king ; and the sympathy expressed by the people, in the last .verse, 
for the fate of the young knight, which exactly tallies with what is 
told us by the Scottish historians, regarding the popular feeling 
expressed m favour of the numerous nooles and princes of his own 
blood, whom the kin^ saw [or thought] it necessary to sacrifice. 
There is in the ballad just that precise degree of vagueness, inappli- 
cability, and exaggeration, which the people always give to such 
an historical fact when they are left to relate it in their own way." 
(Note, p. 34.) 

The opinion so ably indicated in the last extract has been aban- 
doned by its writer, without much show of reason or argument for 
the change, t 

But until Dr. Chambers, or some one else, refutes his early con- 
fession of faith in a satisfactory manner, we shall continue to regard 
the above expression of it as an extremely likely solution of the 
matter; and can only wonder at, and lament the sceptical and 

*The title is as follows:— "Young Waters: an Ancient Scottleh Poem, nercr 
before printed. Glasgow : Printed and sold by Bobert and Andrew Foalia, MDCCLY. 
Small 4to, pp. 8." 

f See liomaniic Scottish Ballads: tMr &>och and AuthortMp, . . . Bt Bobert 
Cliambers, F.B.S.E,, &0., &C. U&9. 

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heretical notions which have induced him to deny the faith of his 
earlier yeara. 

That the assnmed fact of Lad^ Wardlaw being the author of 
"Hardyknute" should lead a writer of Dr. ChamDers's eminence, 
knowledge, and experience, to jump to the conclusion that she also 
wrote "Young Waters," "Sir Patrick Spens," «*Gil Morice," "Fause 
Foodrage," and others of our most popular ballads, to the number of 
twenty-five, and to assert that she was the "literary foster-mother " 
of Sir Walter Scott, is certainly one of the greatest Curioailiea of 
Literature in modem times. * 

Stanzas 1 to 9, inclusive, are from Lady Home's version ; 10 to 13, 
inclusive, firom Mr. Buchau's ; 14 to 16 are nearly the same in both ; 
while the rest ore from Mr. Buchan's version, with the exceptions 
noted under the text. 

1 About Yule, when the wind blew cool, 
And the round table began. 
Oh, there is come to our king's court 
Mony a well-fa vour'd man.f 

* In extenuation of Dr. Chainboi*8, it may be mentioned that the first hint as to 
Lady Wardlaw'8 Bopposed authorship of *'Sir Patrick BpenBl" waa thrown oat by 
Hr. David Lalng, in nis notes to Johnson's Mtueum, on ** Hardyknute," p. 320*, and 
** Sir Patrick Spens," p. 467. Dr. Chambers has either improyed upon this hint with 
a vengeance, or his Ladp Wardlaw Heretif has been broached as a satirical way of 
demolishing it If the latter, his paper ought to rank in future with sooh brochttra 
as Archbishop Whately's Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon, 

It may be mentioned that, after an interval of ten years, Dr. Chambers issued 
another deliverance on the subject, in the form of a "Note for the Fourth Edition, 
1869," of his Popular Rhymes of Scotland. In this note he states :->^* I am now sen- 
sible of having pressed the claims of Lady Wardlaw too exclusivelv ; it is more 
probable that several persons were engaged in this task throughout the eighteenth 
century, though it is difficult to make sure of the particular group attributable to 
each person." 

Dr. Chambers next rather disingenuously lugs in Bitson and Scott as witnesses 
on the side of soepticlBm. Be notes Scottli suspicion as to the authenticity of the 
ballads furnished to him and Mr. Jamieson, bat fails to note also that Scott, after 
investigating the matter, expressed his most unhesitating faith In their authenticity. 
See ante^ p. 128. Dr. Chanibers uncharitably and ungallantly winds up by accusing 
Mrs. Brown of falsehood, fraud, and wilful imposition, in the words woicb we shall 
now quote:— 

** That Scott was not incapable of being imposed upon, has already been fully estab- 
lished by the notable case of Mr. Surtees of Durhiun, who obtained his friendship 
by sendmg him two ballads of his own, vamped up as gatherings from tradition. 

"I am afraid that my venerated friend was not less the victim of this Mrs. 
Brown, wife of the minister of Falkland, who herself ^as a scribbler of poetry, bat 
too respectable to be capable of imposture." 

This additional somerset of Dr. Chambers leaves us still more puzzled than ever 
as to whether he is in jest or earnest Some of our Southern niends, icAo believe 
themulves much smarter at Feeing either the point of a jest, or through a mud fence, 
than any dull-headed ScotBman can pretend to be, may, however, kindly enlighten 
OS on the subject 

t " It foil about the gude Yule time, 

When cups and stonps gaed ronn*, 
Down it came him Young Waters, 
To welcome James, our king. 

" The great, the great together rode, 
The sma' came a' behin'; 
But wl' Young Waters, that brave knight, 
There come a gay gatherla*."— Bachon's venioii. 

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2 The Queen lookM o'er the castle wall, 
Beheld baith dale and down, 
And there she saw [the] Young Waters 
Come riding to the town. 

8 His footmen they did rin before, 
His horsemen rode behind ; 
And his mantle, of the burning gowd, 
Did keep him from the wind. 

4 Gowden ffraith'd his horse before. 

And siUer shod behind ; 
The horse Young Waters rade upon 
Was fleeter than the wind. 

5 Out then spake a wylie lord, 

And to ttie Queen said he : 
*' Oh, tell me, wha *s the fairest face 
Rides in the company? *' 

6 ^' IVe seen lords, and I v.e seen lairds, 

And knights of high degree ; 
But a fairer face than Young Waters* 
Mine een did never see.'* 

7 Out then spake the jealous king, 

(And an angry man was he) : 

" Oh, if he had been twice as fair, 

You might ha'e excepted me." 

8 " YouVe neither laird nor lord," she says, 

** But the king that wears the crown ; 
There *s not a knight in fair Scotland, 
But to thee maun bow down." 

9 But all that she cou*d do or say, 

Appeased he wouMna be; 
And for the words which she had said, 
Young Waters he maun die. 

10 Young Waters came before the king. 

Fell low down on bis knee: 
" Win up, win up [now,] Young Waters, 
What 's this I hear of thee?" 

11 " What ails the king at me," he said, 

"What ails the king at me?" 
" Oh, it is tauld me the day, Sir Knight, 
YeVe done me treasonie," 

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12 " Liars will lee on fell gtide men, 

Sae will they do on me ; 
I wou'dna wish to be the man 
That liars on wou'dna lee." 

13 " Yet, nevertheless," the king did saj', 

" To prison Strang gang ye ; 
And nevertheless," the king did say, 
" Young Waters, ye shaU dee." 

14 Syne they ha'e ta'en him Young Waters, 

Put fetters to his feet ; 
Syne they ha'e ta'en him Young Waters, 
Tlirown him in dungeon deep. 

15 " Afi ha'e I ridden thro' Stirling town, 

Thro' heavy wind and weet ; 
But ne'er rade I thro' Stirling town 
With fetters on my feet. 

16 " Aft ha'e I ridden thro' Stirling town. 

Thro' heavy wind and rain ; 
Yet ne'er rade I thro' Stirling town, 
But I thought to ride again." * 

17 Tliey brought him to the Heading hill 

His horse bot and his saddle ; 
And they brought to the Heading hill 
His young son in his cradle. 

18 And they brought to the Heading hill 

His hounds intil a leish ; 
And they brought to the Heading hill 
His gos-hawk in a jess. 

19 King James he then rade up the hill 

And mony a man him wi'; 
And he call'd on his trusty page, 
To come right speedilie. 

20 " Ye'U do ye to the Earl of Mar, 

Where he sits on yon hill ; 
Bid him loose the brand frae his body, 
Young Waters for to kill." 

* Lady Jean Home's version reads,— > 

"Ne'er to retnm again.** 

And it termiDates with the stanza which follows :— 

" They ha*e ta*en hhn to the Headln* hllL 
That knight sae fair to see; 
And fqr the words the Qneen had spak, 
YoQog Waters he did dee.** 

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21 " Oh, God forbid," the earl he said, 

« The like shouM e'er fa' me ; 
My bodie e'er shou'd bear the brand 
That gars Young Waters dee." 

22 Then he has loosed his trusty brand, 

And cast it in the sea ; 
Says — " Never let them get a brand. 
Till it come back to me." 

23 The scaffold it prepared was. 

And he did mount it hie ; 
And all spectators that were there, 
The tears did blind ilk e'e. 

24 '^ Oh, baud your tongues, my brethren dear, 

And mourn nae mair for me; 
Te're seeking grace frae a graceless face,* 
For there is nane to gi'e. 

25 '< Te'U take a bit of canvas claith, 

And put it o'er ilk e'e ; 
And, Jack, my man, ye'll be at hand 
The hour that I shou'd dee. 

26 ** Syne aff ye'll take my bluidy sark, 

Gi'e it fair Margaret Grahame ; 
For she may curse the dowie day 
That brought King James here hame. 

27 " Ye'll bid her make her bed narrow, 

And make it naeways wide ; 
For a brawer man than Young Waters 
Will ne'er streek by her side. 

28 " Bid her do weel to my young son, 

And gi'e him nurses three; 
But if he live to be a man, 
King James will gar him dee." 

29 He call'd upon the headsman then, 

A purse of gowd him ga'e ; 
Says — " Do your office, headsman, now, 
And make nae mair delay. 

30 ^' Oh, head me soon I oh, head me clean. 

And put me out of pine ! 
For it is by the king's command; 
Sae head me till his min'. 

^ TUs Ua« ocoQiB ia tb« Bobseqaent ballad of ^* Johanie Armatrong.** 

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" Tho' by him I*m condemned to dee, 

I'm lieve to his ain kin ; 
[His father and my father, they 

Were ilk ae father's son.] * 

82 Then he laid by his napkin fine, 

Was saft as ony silk ; 
And on the block he laid his neck, 
Was whiter than the milki 

83 Says — " Strike the blow, ye headsman, now, 

Strike with your axe sae keen ; 
Oh, strike the blow, ye headsman, now. 
And strike baith hard and clean." f 

84 The head was ta'en frae Young Waters, 

And mony tears were shed ; 
But mair did mourn for fair Margaret, 
As she lay raving mad. 


From Scott's MinatreUy, vol. i., p. 369. 

**Thia ballad appears to have been composed about the reign of 
James V. It commemorates a transaction, supposed to have taken 
place betwixt a Scottish monarch, and an ancestor of the ancient family 
of Murray of Fhiliphaugh, in Selkirkshire. The e^tor is unable to 
ascertain the historical foundation of the talc ; nor is it probable that 
any light can be thrown upon the subject, without an accurate 
examination of the family charter chest. It is certain, that, during 
the civil wars betwixt Bruce and Baliol, the family of Philiphaugh 
existed and was powerful ; for their ancestor, Archibald de Moravia, 
subscribes the oath of fealty to Edward I., a.d. 1296. It is, therefore, 
not nnUkely, that, residing in a wild and frontier country, they may 

• " 'And for the troth, 111 plainly tell, 
I am his Bister's son.* 

" ♦ Gin ye're my sister's son,* he said, 
•It 18 unkenn'dto me; * 
'Oh, mindna yo on your sister Bess, 
That Uvea in the French countrio ? ' 

" ' Gin Bess then be yonr mlther dear, 
As I trust well she be : 
Gae hame, gae liame, Yonng Waters, 
Ve'se ne'er bs slain by me. "-^Duchan's version. 

t As this stanza has been altered from Mr. Bucliaiiii text, the original is here 
noted ae under >— 

" Says—' Strike the blow, ye boadsioan boy, 
And that right speedUie < 
It 'a never be said, Hero goes a knight 
Wm tA09 oondema'd to die."! 

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have, at odo period or other, during these commotions, refused 
allegiance to the feeble monarch of the day, and thus extorted from 
him some grant of territory or jurisdiction. It is also certain, that> 
by a charter firom James IV., dated Nov. 30, 1509, John Murray 
of Philiphaugh is vested with the dignity of heritable sheriff of 
Ettrick Forest, an office held by his descendants till the final aboli- 
tion of such jurisdictions by 28th George 11. , cap. 23. But it seems 
difficult to believe, that the circumstances, mentioned in the ballad, 
could occur under the reign of so vigorous a monarch as James IV. 
It is true, that the Dramatis Personce introduced seem to refer to the 
end of the fifteenth, or beginning of the sixteenth, century; but from 
this it can only be axgaeS, that the author himself lived soon after 
that period. It may, therefore, be supposed (unless further evidence 
can be procured, tending to invalidate the conclusion), that the bard, 
willing to pay his court to the &mily, has connected the grant of the 
sherif^hip by James IV., with some former dispute betwixt the 
Murrays of Philiphaugh and their sovereign, occurring, either while 
they were engagea upon the side of Baliol, or in the subsequent reigns 
of David II. and Eobert II. and IIL, when the English possessed 
great part of the Scottish frontier, and the rest was in so lawless a 
state as hardly to acknowledge any superior. At the same time, this 
reasoning is not absolutely condusive. James IV. had particular 
reasons for desiring that Ettrick Forest, which actually formed part 
of the jointure lands of Margaret, his queen, should be kept m a 
state of tranquillity.— iJyTncr, vol. xiiL, p. 66. In order to accomplish 
this object, it was natural for him, according to the policy of his pre- 
decessors, to invest one great family with the power of keeping order 
among the rest. It is even probable, that the Philiphaugh family 
may nave had claims upon part of the lordship of EttricK Fores^ 
which lay intermingled with their own extensive possessions; and, 
in the course of arrconging, not indeed the feudal superiority, but the 
property, of these lands, a dispute may have ansen, of sufficient 
importance to be the groundwork of a ballad. It is further probable, 
that the Murrays, like other Border clans, were in a very lawless 
state, and held their lands merely by occupancy, without any feudal 
right. Indeed, the lands of the various proprietors in Ettrick Forest 
(being a royid demesne) were held by the possessors, not in property, 
but as the kindly tenants, or rentatlers, of the crown ; and it is only 
about one hundred and fifty years since they obtained charters, 
striking the feu-duty of each proprietor, at the rate of the quit-rent, 
which ne formerly paid. Tliis state of possession naturally led to a 
confusion of rights and claims. The kings of Scotland were often 
reduced to the humiliating necessity of compromising such matters 
with their rebellious subjects, and James himself even entered into 
a sort of league with Johnnie Faa, the king of the gypsies. Perhaps, 
therefore, the tradition handed down in this song, may have lud 
more foundation than it would at present be jiroper positively to 

" The merit of this beautifhl old tale, it is thought, will be fully 
acknowledged. It has been, for ages, a popular song in Selkirkshire. 
The scene is, by the common peopl^ supposed to have been the castlo 
of Newark, upon Yarrow. This is highly improbable^ because Newark 

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was always a royal fortress. Indeed, the late excellent antiquarian, 
Mr. Plummer, sheriff depute of Selkirkshire, has assured the editor that 
he remembered the insignia of the unicorns, &c., so often mentioned 
in the ballad, in existence upon the old tower of Hangingshaw, the seat 
of the Philiphaugh family, although, upon first perusing a copy of the 
ballad, he was inclined to snbscril^ to tne popular opinion. The tower 
of Hangingshaw has been demolished for many years. It stood in a 
romantic and solitary situation, on the classical banks of the Yarrow. 
When the mountains around Hangingshaw were covered with the 
wild copse which constituted a Scottish forest, a more secure strong- 
hold for an outlawed baron can hardly be imagined. 

" The tradition of Ettrick Forest bears, that the Outlaw was a 
man of prodigious strength, possessing a baton or club, with which ho 
laid lee («. e., waste) the country for many miles round ; and that ho 
was, at length, slain by Buccleuch, or some of his clan, at a little 
mount, covered with fir-trees, adjoining to Newark casUe, and said 
to have been a part of the garden. A varying tradition bears the 
place of his death to have been near to the house of the Duke of 
Buccleuch's game-keeper, beneath the castle; and, that the fatal 
arrow was shot bv Scott of Haining, from the ruins of a cottage on the 
opposite side of the Yarrow. There was extant, within these twenty 
years, some verses of a song on his death. The feud betwixt the 
Outiaw and the Scotts may serve to explain the asperity, with which 
the diieftain of that clan is handled in the ballad. 

" In publishing the following ballad, the copy principally resorted to 
is one, apparently of considerable antiquity, which was found among 
the jyapers of the late Mrs. Cockbum, of Edinburgh, a lady whose 
memory will be long honoured by all who know her.* Another copy, 
much more imperfect, is to be found in GlenriddePs MS. The names 
are in this last miserably mangled, as is always the case when ballads 
are taken down from the recitation of persons, living at a distance from 
the scenes in which they are laid. Mr. Plummer uso gave the editor 
a few additional verses, not contained in either copy, which are thrown 
into what seemed their proper place. There is yet another copy, in 
Mr. Herd's MSS., which has oeen occasionally made use of Two verses 
are restored in the present edition from the recitation of Mr. Mungo 
Park, whose toils, during his ])atient and intrepid travels in Africa, 
hove not eradicated from his recollection the legendary lore of his 
native country. 

**Th6 arms of the Philiphaugh family are said by tradition to 
allude to their outlawed state. They are indeed those of a hunts- 
man, and are blazoned thus : Argent, a hunting horn sable, stringed 
and garnished gules, on a chief azure, throe stars of the first. Crest, 
a Demi Forrester, winding his horn, proper. Motto, 'Hinc usque 
Bupema venabor.' '' — Sir Walter Scott. 

[Another copy, as given ''from an old manuscript in the Philip- 
haugh charter-chest," and supposed to have " been written " or copied 
** between the years 1689 and 1702," appears in Aytoun*s BdUads of 
Scotland, vol. li., p. 129. The copy above referred to as "in Mr, 

• [Authoress or the "Flowers of the ForeBt,*'— 

'^rye Been the pmllJpg," &c] 

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Herd's MSS.," has since passed into the hands of Mr. Maidment» by 
whom it has been inserted in his Scotish BaUada and Songs, toL il, 
p. 66. 

The differences between these three copies are immaterial, bnt the 
Minstrelsy copy is the most complete, and therefore the preferable 

1 Ettsick Forest is a fair forest, 

In it grows many a seemly tree; 
There 's hart and hind, and dae and rae, 
And of all wild beasts great plentie. 

2 Tliere 's a fair castle, bigg'd with lime and stane; 

Oh, gin it stands not pleasantlie ! 
n the forefront of that castle fair, 
Twa unicorns are braw to see. 

3 There 's the picture of a knight, and a ladye bright, 

And the green hollin abune their brie ; 
There an Outlaw keeps five hundred men, 
He keeps a royal companie ! 

4 His merry men are all in ao livery clad, 

Of the Lincoln green sae gay to see ; 
Ho and his ladye, in purple clad, 
Ob, gin they lived not royallie I 

6 Word is gane to our noble king, 
In Edinburgh, where that he lay. 
That there was an Outlaw in Ettrick Forest, 
Counted him nought, nor all his courtrie gay. 

6 "I make a vow," then the gude king said, 

'* Unto the man that dear bought me, 
I^se either be king of Ettrick Forest, 
Or king of Scotland that Outlaw shall be I** 

7 Then spake the lord, bight Hamilton,* 

And to the noble king said he,— 
" MjT sovereign prince, some counsel take. 
First at your nobles, syne at me. 

8 "I redd ye, send yon braw Outlaw till. 

And see gif your man come will he : 
Desire him come and be your man, 
And hold of you yon Forest free. 

* This is, in most copies, the Earl hight Hamilton, which must be a mistake of th6 
reolten, as the fuoiiy did not enjoy thftt title tlU ugo, 

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9 " Gif he refuses to do that, 

We'll conauess baith his lands and he ! 
Or else, we'll throw his castle down, 
And make a widow of his gay ladye." 

10 The king then call'd a gentleman, 

James Boyd (the Earl of Arran his brother was he) ;* 
When James he came before the king, 
He knelt before him on his knee. 

11 " Welcome, James Boyd I " said our noble king, 

*^ A message ye maun gang for me ; 
Ye maun hie to Ettrick Forest, 
To yon Outlaw, where bideth he. 

12 " Ask him of whom he balds his lands. 

Or man, wha may his master be ; 

And desire him come and be my man, 

And bald of me yon Forest free. 

13 " To Edinburgh to come and gang, 

His safe warrant I shall gi'e ; 
And gif he refuses to do that, 
We'll conquess baith his lands and he. 

14 " Thou may'st vow Fll cast his castle down, 

And make a widow of his gay ladye ; 
ril hang his merry men, pair by pair. 
In ony frith where I may them see." 

15 James Boyd took his leave of the noble king; 

To Ettrick Forest fair came he ; 
Down Birkendale Brae when that he came,f 
He saw the fair Forest with his e'e. 

16 Baith dae and rae, and hart and hind, 

And of all wild beasts great plentie ; 
He heard the bows that bauldly ring. 
And arrows whidderan' him near by. 

• Thom&s Boyd, Earl of Arran, wae forfeited, with hlB father and undo, In 1469, 
for an attempt on tlie person of James III. He had a son James, who was restored, 
and in faTonr with Jiunes IV., about li82. If this he the person here meant, wo 
should read. *'The Earl of Arran his son was he." Glenriddel's copy rMid& "A 
Highland laud Pm sure was ho.*' Bedters eometimeB call the messenger, the I^drd 
of Skene. 

tBbrkendale Brae, now commonly called Birkendailly, is a steep descent on the 
south side of Minoh-Moor, which separates Tweeddale ftom Ettrick Forest, and 
f i-om the top of which you hare the first view of the woods Of fiaogingshftWi the 
Castle of Newftrk, and tao ronuwtlo dale of Yarrow, 

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17 Of that fair castle he got a sight ; 

The like he ne'er saw with his e'e ! 
On the fore front of that castle fair 
Twa unicorns were gay to sec. 

18 The picture of a knight, and a ladye bright. 

And the green hoUin abune their brie ; 
Thereat he spy'd five hundred men, 
Shooting their bows on Newark Lee. 

19 They were all in ae livVy clad, 

Of the Lincoln green sao gay to sec ; 
His men were all clad in the green, 
The knight was armed capapie, 

20 With a bended bow, on a milk-white steed, 

And I wot they ranked right bonnilie ; 
Tliereby Boj'd kenn'd he was master man, 
And serv'd liim in his ain degree : 

21 " God mot thee save, brave Outlaw Murray I 

Thy ladye, and all thy chivalrie T' 
" Marry, thou 's welcome, gentleman, 
Some king's messenger tliou seems to bo.** 

22 " Th( king of Scotland sent me here, 

And, gude Outlaw, I am sent to thee ; 
I wou'd wot of whom ye hold your lands, 
Or man, wha may thy master be?" 

23 " Thir* lands are mineI" the Outlaw said ; 

" I ken nae king in Christentie ; 
Frae Southron I this Forest wan. 
When the king nor his knights were not to sec.'* 

24 " lie desires youll come to Edinburgh, 

And hold of him this Forest free; 
And, gif [that] ye refuse to do this, 

HeTl conquess baith thy lands and thee ; 
He hath vow'd to cast thy castle down. 

And make a widow of thy gay ladye. 

25 " He'll hang thy merrv men, pair by pair. 

In ony fnth where he may them find." 
" Aye. by my troth I " the Outlaw said, 
*• Then wou'd I think me far behind. 

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26 " E'er the king my fair countric get, 

This land that*B nativest to me, 
Mony of his nobles shall be cauld, 
Their ladyes shall be right wearie." 

27 Then spake his ladye, fair of face, 

She said — " Without consent of me 
That an Outlaw should come before a Kin^ ; 

I am right rad * of treasonrie : 
Bid him be gnde to his lords at hamo, 

For Edinburgh my lord shall never sec." 

28 James Boyd took his leave of the Outlaw keen, 

To Edinburgh boun' is he ; 
And when he came before the king, 
He knelt lowly on his knee. 

29 " Welcome, James Boyd ! " said our noble king ; 

" What Forest is Ettrick Forest free?" 
" Ettrick Forest is the fairest Forest 
That ever man saw with his e*e. 

80 " There 's the dae, the rae, the hart, the hynd, 
And of all wild beasts great plentie ; 
There 's a pretty castle of lime and stane ; 
Oh, gif it stands not pleasantlie ! 

31 " There 's in the forefront of that castlo 

Twa unicorns, sae braw to sec ; 
There's the picture of a knight, and a ladyo bright, 
With the green hoUin abune their bree. 

32 " There the Outlaw keeps five hundred men; 

He keeps a royal companie! 
His merry men in ae livTy clad, 

Of the Lincoln green sae gay to see; 
He and his ladye, in purple clad, 

Oh, gin they live not royallie I 

S3 " He says, yon Forest is his own ; 
He wan it frae the Southronie ; 
Sac as he wan it, sae will he keep it, 
Contrair all kings in Christen tie." 

SI " Gar warn me Perthshire, and Angus baith; 
Fife up and down, and the Lothians three, 
And graith my horse! " said the noble king, 
♦* For to Ettrick Forest hie will I me," 
• "Bad: *Uj dread. 

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85 Then word is gane the Outlaw till, 

In Ettrick Forest, where dwelleth he, 
That the king was coming to his countrio, 
To conqness baith his lands and he. 

86 **I make a vow," the Outlaw said, 

" I make a vow, and that trulie. 
Were there but three men to take my part, 
Yon king's coming full dear shou'd be!" 

87 Then messengers he called forth, 

And bade them hie them speedily: 
" Ane of ye gae to Halliday, 
The laird of the Corehead is he. 

88 " He certain is my sister's son ; 

Bid him come quick and succour mo ! 
The king comes on for Ettrick Forest, 
And landless men we all will be." 

89 ** What news? what news?" said Halliday, 

" Man, frae thy master unto me ? " 
" Not as we wou'd ; seeking your aid ; 
The king 's his mortal enemie." 

40 " Aye, by my troth ! " said Halliday, 

" Even for that it repenteth me ; 
For gif he lose fair Ettrick Forest, 
He'll take fair Moffatdale frae me.* 

41 ril meet him with five hundred men, 
And surely mair, if mae may be ; 

And before he gets the Forest fair, 
We all will die on Newark Lee ! " 

42 The Outlaw call'd a messenger, 

And bid him hie him speedilie, 
o Andrew Murray of Cockpool : f 
" That man 's a dear cousm to me; 
Desire him come, and make me aid, 
With all the power that he may be." 

43 " It stands me hard," Andrew Murray said, 

" Judge gif it stands na hard with me; 

• This IB A plaoe at the head of Moffat-water, possessed of old by the family of 

t This family were ancestors of the Mairays, Earls of AnnaDdale; but the name 
of the representatlTe in the time of James lY^ was "Willlaro, not Andrew. Qieii- 
riddel's MS. reads, " the country-keeper." 

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To enter against a king with crown, 

And set my lands in jeopardic ! 
Yet, if I come not on the day, 

Surely at night he shall me see." 

44 To Sir James Murray of Traquair,* 

A message came right speedilie : 
'* What news ? what news ? " James Murray said, 
" Man, frae thy master unto mo ? " 

45 " What needs I tell? for weel ye ken 

The king 's his mortal enemie ; 
And now he is coming to Ettrick Forest, 
And landless men ye all will bo." 

46 " And, by my troth," James MuiTay said, 

" With that Outlaw will I live and die ; 
The king has gifted my lands lang syne — 
It cannot bo nae worse with me." 

47 The king was coming thro' Caddon Ford,f 

And full five thousand men was he ; 

They saw the dark Forest them before ; 

They thought it awesome for to see. 

48 Then spake tho lord, hight Hamilton, 

And to tho noble king said he, — 
" My sovereign liege, some counsel take. 
First at your nobles, syne at me. 

49 " Desire him meet thee at Penmanscore, 

And bring four in his companie ; 
Five earls shall gang yourself before, 
Gude cause that you should honoured be. 

60 " And, gif he refuses to do that, 

We'll conquess baith his lands and he ; 
There shall never a Murray, after him, 
Hold land in Ettrick Forest free." 

* Before the Barony of Traquair became the property of the Stewarts, it belonged 
to a family of Marrays, afterwards Murrays of Black-barony, and ancestors of Lord 
Elibank. The old castle was situated on the Tweed. The luids of Traquair were 
forfeited by Willielmus de Moravia, previona to 1464; for, in that year^ chArter, 
proceeding upon his forfeiture, was granted by the crown " Willielmo Douglas do 
Cluny." Sir James was, perhaps, the heir of William Murray. It would further 
f eem, that the grant in 1464 was not made effectual by Douglas, for another charter 
from the crown, dated the 3d February. 147d, conveys the estate of Traquair to 
James Stewart Earl of Buchan, son to the Block Knight of Lome, and maternal uncle 
to Jamei TTT., from whom is descended the present Earl of Traquair. The first royal 

Suit not being followed by possession, it la very possible that the Murrays may 
vd continued to occupy Traquair long after the date of that charter. Hence, Sir 
Jamee might have reason to say, as in the ballad—" The king has gifted my Ifinda 
lang syne,^ 
t A ford on the Tweed, at the mouth of the Caddon Bum, near Tair. 

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51 Then spaisc the keen laird of Buccleuch, 

A Btalworth man and stern was he: 
" For a king to gang an Outlaw till, 
Is beneath his state and his dignitie. 

52 " The man that wons yon Forest intil, 

He lives by reif and felonie ! 
Wherefore, braid on, my sovereign liege! 

With fire and sword we'll follow thee ; 
Or, gif 3'our courtrie lords fall back, 

Our borderers shall the onset gi'e.'* 

53 Then out and spake the noble king. 

And round him cast a wilio e'e : 
" Now baud thy tongue. Sir Walter Scott, 

Nor speak of reif nor felonie ; 
For had every honest man his own kye, 

A right puir clan thy name wou'd be 1 *' 

51 The king then call'd a gentleman, 

Roj'al banner-bearer there was he ; 
James Hop Pringle of Torsonse, by name;* 
Ho came and knelt upon his knee. 

55 *' Welcome, James Pringle of Torsonse ! 
A message ye maun gang for me ; 
Ye maun gae to yon Outlaw Murray, 
Surely where bauldly bideth he. 

5G '* Bid him meet me at Penmanscore, 
And bring four in his companie ; 
Five earls shall come with myseP, 
Gude reason I shouM honoured be. 

57 " And, pf he refuses to do that. 

Bid him look for nae gude of me I 

There shall never a Murray, after him. 

Have land in Ettrick Forest free." 

58 James came before the Outlaw keen. 

And served him in his ain degree : 
" Welcome, James Pringle of Torsonse, 
What message frae the king to me?" 

•The hononrablo name of Priogle, or HoppringlA, is of great anUqnfty la 
noxbuvbahire and Selkirkshire. The old tower of TorsonBe Ib sltoated apon tfao 
b.uks of the Qala. There are three other ancient and diBtingulshed families of th[^ 
name— ^thoee of Wbitehankf CUftop, oz)d T9rwoodle^ 

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69 '* He bids ye meet him at Penmanscore,* 
And bring four in your companie; 
Five earls snail gang himsel' before, 
Nae mair in number will he be. 

CO " And, gif you refuse to do that, 
(I freely hero upgive with thee,) 
He'll cast yon bonnie castle down, 
And make a widow of that gay ladyc. 

CI " He'll loose yon bluidbound borderers, 
With lire and sword to follow thee; 
There will never a Murray, after thyseP, 
Have land in Ettrick Forest free." 

C2 " It stands me hard," the Outlaw said; 
" Judge gif it stands na hard with me! 
Wha reck not losing of myseP, 
But all my oflfsprmg after me. 

C3 ** My merry men's lives, my widow's tears — 
There lies the pang that pinches me I 
When I am str aught in bluidie card, 
Yon castle will be right drearie. 

C4 " Auld Halliday, young Halliday, 

Ye shall be twa to gang with me; 
Andrew Murray, and Sir James Murray, 
We'll be nae mac in companie.'* 

C6 When that they came before the king. 
They fell before him on their knee:, 
" Grant mercie, mercio, noble king! 
E'en for his sake that died on tree." 

• CommoDly cidlod Permanscore, Ib a hollow on the top of a hteh ridm of hilln, 
dlTidlDg the Tales of Tweed and Yarrow, a litUe to the eastward of Minch-Moor. 
It 1b the oatennoBt point of the lands of Broadmeadows. The Qlenriddel MS., 
iKhicb, in this instance, is extremely Inaccurate as to names, calls the place of 
rendezTODS '' The Poor Man's House," and hints Uiat the Outlaw was surprised by 
the treachery of the k ng:— 

** Then he was aware of the King's coming, 

With hundreds throe in company. 
I wot &e muckle deel .... 

He learned kings to lie I 
For to fetch me here frae amang my men. 

Here, like a dog, for to die." 

I heltoTe the reader will ttlnk, with me, that the catastrophe is bettor, as now 
printed from Mrs. Cockbnm's copy. The deceit, supposed to bo practised on the 
■ ■ -' ' * milltai • c . . -^ 

Outlaw, is unworthy of the military monarch, as no l9 painted in the ballad; 
especially if we adnut bim to be King James IV. 


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66 ** Siccen like mercie Bhall ye have: 

On gallows ye shall hangit be I" 
" Over God forbode," quoth the Outlaw then, 

" I hope your grace will better be I 
Else ere ye come to Edinburgh port, 

I trow thin guarded shall ye be. 

67 " Thir lands of Ettrick Forest fair, 

I wan them from the enemie; 
Like as I wan them, sae will I keep them, 
Gontrair all kings in Ghristentie." 

Gd All the nobles the king about, 

Said — " Pitie it were to see him dee; " 
" Yet grant me mercie, sovereign Prince ! 
Extend your favour unto me I 

G9 " T\\ give thee the keys of my castle, 
Witn the blessings of my gay ladye, 
Gin thou'lt make me sheriff of this Forest, 
And all my offspring after me." 

70 " Wilt thou give me the keys of thy castle, 

With the blessing of thv gay ladye? 
I'se make thee sheriff of Ettrick Forest, 

Surely while upwards grows the tree: 
If you be not traitor to the king, 

Forfaulted shalt thou never be.'* 

71 " But, Prince, what shall come of my men? 

When I gac back, traitor they'll call me. 
I had rather lose my life and land, 
Ere my merry men rebuked me.** 

72 ** Will your merry men amend their lives? 

And all their pardons I grant thee. 

Now, name thy lands where'er they lie, 

And here I render them to thee." 

73 ** Fair Philiphaugh is mine by right,* 

And Lewmshope still mine shall bo; 
Newark, Foulshiells, and Tinnies baith, 
My bow and arrow purchased me. 

* In this and the following verse, the ceremony of feudftl InTestitore Is snppoeed 
to bo gone through, by the Outlaw resigning his possessiona into the hands of the 
king, and receiying them back, to be held of him as superior. The lands of Philip- 
haugh are still possessed by the Outlaw's reprosentatlTe. Hangingahaw and Lewins- 
hope were sold of late years. Newark, FooIshielB, and Tizmies, have long belonged 
to the family of Buocleuch. 

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74 " And I have native steads to me, 

The Newark Lee and Hangingshaw: 
I have mony steads in the Forest shaw, 
But them by name I dinna knaw." 

75 The keys of the castle he gave the king, 

With the blessing of his fair ladye ; 
He was made sheriff of Ettrick Forest, 

Surely while upwards grows the tree, 
And if he was na traitor to the king, 

Forfaultcd he shou'd never be. 

7G Wha ever heard, in ony times, 

Siccen an Outlaw in his degree, 
Sic favour get before a king, 
As did the Outlaw Murray of the Forest free? 


** History is silent with regard to this young Nimrod. * He appears,' 
says the e^tor of the Border Minstrelsy, Ho have been au outlaw and 
deer-stealer, — probably one of the broken men residing upon the 
border. It is sometimes said that this outlaw possessed the old Castle 
of Morton, in Dumfriesshire, now ruinous.* Another tradition assigns 
Braid, in the neighbourhood of £dinburo;li, to have been the scene of 
his 'woeful hunting.'" — '^otherweW a Miiititrelsy, p. 17. 

Versions of the ballad have appeared as under : — 

I. " Johnieof Breadislee," in Scott's Minstrelsy, vol. iil, p. 114, 
collated from ** several different copies, in one of which 
the principal i^ersonage is called ' Jolinie of Cockielaw.* 
The stanzas of greatest merit have been selected from each 
copy." — Scott. 

XL ** Johny Cock," consisting of fra^cjments of two versions, as 
given in Fry's Pieces of A7icient Poetry, Bristol, 18l4 p. 

III. "Johnieof Braidisbank," in 'MothcrvreW a Minstrelsy, p. 17. 

IV. "Johnio of Cocklesmuir," in Kinloch's Ancient Scottish 

Ballads, p. 30. 

• These fragments are copied from a 4 to MS. purchased In Glasgow, " in the year 
1810," which MS. appeal's to have been ''the text-book of some illiterate dnimmcr." 
The editor, Mr. Fry, sapposes, with great probability, that this is the ballad of 
* 'Johny C5ox," mentioned by Bitson in these terms:— "The Rev. Mr. Boyd, the 
ingonioos translator of Dante, has a faint recollection of a ballad on some Ann- 
strong (not the well-known ballad of 'Johny Ai-mstrong * in Eamaay's Evergreen) ; 
another, called 'Johny Cox;' and another, 'of a Scotch Minitrel who stole a horse 
from some of the Henries of England.' The first of Uieso ballads is possibly the 
famous old border song of 'Dick o' the Ck)w,' quoted by Mr. Pennant (Tbur, 1772, 
part IL, p. 276), and printed at length In the Foetieai Muswrn^ Hawick, 17S4." 
— BitBOn*B Soottuh <9(m^ Historical Essay, p. zzxyi., note. 

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V. " Jolmnie of Cocidesmmr/' in Scottish IVaditioncU VershAi 
of Ancient Ballads (Percy Society, voL xvii., p. 77). This 
last closely resembles Kinloch's version; both termin- 
ate happily for "Johnnie/' and both repeat the last line 
of each stanza, as a l^ind of refrain. 

Mr. Kinloch*8 (IV.) concludes thus :— • 

"Ho has killed six o* tho proud forestersi 
And wounded the seventh safr; 
lie laid his loc^ out ower bis steed. 
Says—' I wul kill nae midr, mair.' ** , 

And Mr. Buchan's (V.) : — 

" His mither's parrot i' the window sa^ 
She whistled and she sang; 
An' aye the owertnm o' the note, — 
* Yonnf; Johnnie 's hiding lang, lang.* 

" When this reachit the king's ain ears, 
It griev'd him wond'rous sair; 
Si^s— ' Fd rather they'd hurt my subjects a\ 
Tlian Johnnie o' Cooklesmuir, muir. 

" ' But where are a' my wa'-wight men, 

That I pay meat and fee ? # 

We'll gang the mom to Johnnie's castle, 
See how the cause may be, be.' : 

** Then he 's oa'd Johnnie up to court, 

Treated him handsomeile ; ' * 

An' noo, to hunt i* the Bride's Braidmoir, 
For life he *b licence free, free." 

Dr. Chambers has also given a coUated Version, with some addi- 
tional stanzas, ''taken from tho recitation of a lady resident at 
Peebles, and from a manuscript copy submitted to" him ''by Mr. 
Kmloch,"—ScoUuth Ballads, p. 183. 

Scott*s version is the one here followed ; one stanza^ however, has 
been deleted, and stanzas 2 and 6, from Kinloch, l8 from Motherwell, 
and 22 from Finlay, added. Some variations are also notctl under the 

1 JcHNNiE rose up in a May morning, 

CalPd for water to wash his hands: 
" Gao loose to me the gude gray dogs, 
That are bound with iron bands. 

2 " Ye'U busk, ye'll busk my uoble dogs, 

Ye'll busk and make them boun', 
For I am going to Durisdeer, 
To ding the dun deer down." 

3 When Johnnie*8 mithcr gat word of that, 

Her hands for dule sho wrang : 
" Oh, Johnnie, for my venison, 
To tho greenwood dinna gang. 

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4 " Enough ye ha'e of gude wheat breatl, 

And enough of the bluid-red wine ; 
And therefore, for nae venison, Johnnie, 
I pray ye stir frae harae."* 

5 But Johnnie busked up his gude bend bow, * 

His arrows ano by ane ; 
And he has gane to Durisdeer, 
To hunt the dun deer down. 

G Johnnie lookM east, and Johnnie lookM west, 
And a little below the sun ; 
And there he spied a dun deer sleeping 
Aneath a bush of broom. 

7 Jdhnnie he l^liot, and the dun deer lap, 

And be wounded her on the side ; 
And atween the water and the wood, 
His hounds they laid her pride. 

8 And Johnnie lias brittled the deer sae wcel, 

He 's had out her liver and lungs ; * 

And on those he has feasted his bluidy houndsi 
As if they had been earls' sons. 

9 They ate sae much of the venison, 

And drank sae much of the bluid, 
That Johnnie and all his bluidy hounds, 
Fell asleep, as they had been dead. 

10 And bv there came a silly auld carle— 

An ill death mote he dee ! 
For he *s awa to Hislinton,*}- 

To tell what he did see. • 

11 " What news, what news, ye silly auld carle, 

What news ha'e ye to me ? " 
" Nae news, nae news," quo' the silly auld carlo, 
" Save wnat my een did see. 

• ** ' Tour meat shAlI bo of the very, very best, 
And your drink of the finest wine ; 
And ye will win your mlttier's benlson, 
Qin ye wad stay at hame.' 

^ HIb mi1faer*B counsel he wadna tak. 

Nor wad he stay at hame/*— Kinloch's vorsioo. 

f ** And he '0 aft to the prood forester's," &c— Einloch. 

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12 " As I came doun by Merrimass, 

And doun amang the scroggs,* 

The bonniest youth that e'er I saw, 

Lay sleeping amang his dogs. 

13 " The shirt that was upon his back 

Was of the Holland fine ; 
And the doublet which was over that 
Was of the Lincoln twine. 

14 " The buttons that were on his sleeves 

Were of the gowd sae gude; 
The gude greyhounds he lay amang, 
Their mouths were dyed in bluid." 

15 Then out and spake the first forester, 

The head man ower them a' : 

" If this be Johnnie o' Braidislee, 

Nae nearer him we'll draw." 

1 G Tlien out and spake the next forester, 
(His sister's son was he) : 
*' If this be Johnnie o' Braidislee, 
We soon shall gar him dee ! " 

17 The first flight of arrows the foresters shot, 

They wounded him on the knee ; 
And out and spake the seventh forester, — 
" The next will gar him dee." 

18 They wakon'd Johnnie out of his sleep, 

And he 's drawn to him his coat : 
" My fingers five, save me alive, 
And a stout heart fail me not." f 

19 Johnnie set his back against an aik. 

His foot against a stane; 
And he has slain the seven foresters, 
He has slain them all but ane. 

20 He has broke three ribs in that ane's side, 

But and his collar-bane ; 
He 's laid him twa-fold ower his steed. 
Bade him carry the tidings hame.J 

* " Scroggs : " stanted trees, 
t " 'But fingers five, come hero [come here], 
And fftint heart fail me nought I 
And sliver strings, value mo sma' things, 
Till I get all this vengeance rought P"— Johnny Oook. 
X ** Then Johnnie kiird six foresters, 
And wounded the seventh soir: 
Then drew a stroke at the siUy auld man, 
Tiiftt word h« ne'er sptOc awUr/'—Buchan'B verrioa 

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21 " Oh, is there no a bonnie bird, 

Can fling as I can say? 
Can flee awa to my mither's bow'r, 
And tell to fetch Johnnie away? 

22 " [Is] there no a bird in all this Forest 

will do as meiklo for me, 
As dip its wing in the wan water, 
And straik it on my e'e-bree ? " * 

23 The starling flew to his mither's window, 

It whistled and it sang; 
And aye the owerword of the tune 
Was — " John tarries langi " 

24 They made a rod of the hazel bush, 

Another of the slae-thorn tree; 
And mony, mony were the men 
At fetching our Johnnie. 

25 Then out and spake his auld mitlier, 

And fast her tears did fa' : 
"Ye wou*dna be warned, my son Johnnie, 
Frae the hunting to bide awa. 

26 " Aft ha'e I brocht to Braidislee 

The less gear and the mair; 
But I ne'er brocht to Braidislee 
What grieved my heart sae sair. 

27 " But wae betide that silly auld carle, 

An ill death shall he dee ; 
For the highest tree in Merrimass 
Shall be nis morning fee." 

28 Now Johnnie's gude bend-bow is broke. 

And his gude gray dogs are slain; 
And his body lies dead in Durisdeer, 
And his himting it is done. 

From Scott's Minstrelsy^ voL iiL, p. 341. 

"This ballad is a fragment from Mr. Herd's MS., communicated 
to him by J. Grossett Muirhead, Esq. of Breadesholm, near Glasgow ; 

* This BtanaL which describes ezpre^yely the languor of approftchlng death, Is 
^leriYed from FuU»7's ScQUi$h eaiindt^ toL L, p. uxL 

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who stated that he extracted it, as relatiDg to his own fiunily, from 
the complete Song, in which the names of twenty or thirty gentlemen 
were mentioned, contained in a large collection, helongins to Mr. 
Alexander Monro, merchant of Lisbon, bnt supposed now to be lost^ 

" It appears, from the Appendix to Nisbet's Heraldry, p. 264^ that 
Mnirhead of Lachop and Bullis, the person here called the Laud of 
Muirhead, was a man of rank, being rentaller, or perhapo feuar, of 
man^ crown-lands in Galloway ; andwaa, in trath, slain in * Campo 
BelU de Northumberland sub vexillo Regis,' i «., in the Field of 
Flodden."— Scott. 

1 Afore the king in order stude 

The stout laird of Muirhead, 
Wi* that same twa-hand muckle sword 
That Bartram felPd stark dead. 

2 He sware he wadna lose his right 

To fiffht in ilka field; 
Nor budge him from his liege's sight, 
Till his last gasp should yield. 

8 Twa huuder mair of his ain name^ 
Frae Torwood and the Clyde, 
Sware they would never gang to hame. 
But a' ale by his syde. 

4 And wond'rous wcel they kept their troth ; 
This sturdy royal band 
Rush'd down the brae, wi' sic a pith, 
That nane could them withstand. 

6 Mony a bloody blow thej'^ dealt, 
The like was never seen ; 
And hadna that braw leader fall'n, 
They ne'er had slain the king. 


The following Lament relates to the death of a lover on the fatal 
field of Floddcn, where the gallant but quixotic James IV^. fell, with 
the flower of the Scotish nobflity, A.1). 1613. 

Two beautiful songs, under the title of "The Flowers of the 
Forest," the one written by Miss Elliot, and the other by Mrs. 
Cockbum, nBe Kutherford, appear in the companion volume of 
ScoHsh Songs* They are both usually supposed to have the battle 
of Flodden for the theme of their lamentation ; but the one by Mrs. 
Cockbum, beginning— 

''Tto aoen the smiling 
Of Fortuno bec^iiUo^** 

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is stated not to have been written on that event. It^ however^ chimes 
in with it so naturally, that it is no marvel it ^ould bo supposed to 
relate thereto. 

Both of these songs may be found together in Herd's Scottish Songs, 
vol. i., p. 46, where they are conjoined under the title of "Floddcn 
Field," along with a doggrel prelude, beginning— 

" From Spey to the border, was peaco and good order, 
The Bwsy of our monarch was mild aB the May; 
Peace he adored, whilk Soudrons abhorred, 
Onr marches they plnoder, our wardona they slay.** 

Among the ** sneit melodins sangis of natural music of the antiquite," 
mentioned in The Complaynt of Scotland, as sun^ by the " scheipnirdis 
and their vyuis," there occurs, " My Luf is laid apon ane Knycht,'* 
which very nearly coincides with the first line of the following 
Lament It might very appropriately be begun and ended with the 
four beautiful lines of Leyden's " Ode on visiting Flodden," which Scott 
adopted for the motto to " Marmion : a Tale of Flodden Field : "— 

" Alaa ! that Scottish maid ehoold sing 
The combat where her lover fell! 
That Scottish bard should wako the string, 
The triumph of onr fooa to tell." 

-Scott's MiMlrelstf, voL Ui., p. 8i& 

1 My love was laid upon a knight, 

A noble knight of high degree; 
Upon a knight of valour bright, 
Who also laid bis love on me. 

2 I loved him for his manly form, 

Majestic port and noble mien; 
His glittering sword, in war's wild storm, 
Was ever hrst in battle keen. 

8 For country, king, or ladyo bright, 
His blade he over boldly drew; 
Yet, tho' he wrm a warlike knight. 
His heart was gentle, kind, and true. 

4 But, ah I on Flodden's fatal plain, 

Where Scotland's best and bravest fell, 
My own true knight lay 'mid the slain. 
The gallant knight I loved so well. 

5 The memory of that fatal day 

Deep graven on my heart shall be, 
Till deatn shall summon me away, 
To join again my love and me. 

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"This old North Country ballad, -which appears to be founded on 
fact, is well known in almost every comer ot Scotland. Pinkerton 
printed it in his Tragic Ballads, 1781 (p. 61), * from,' as he says, 
* a modem edition, in one sheet 12mo, after the old copy.' Notwith- 
standing this reference to authority, the ballad certainly received a 
fow conjectural emendations from his own pen ; at least, the version 
which IS given," by Mr. Motherwell, "as it occurs in early stall 
prints, and as it is to be obtained from the recitations of elderly 
people, does not exactly correspond with his. 

" Two modem ballads have sprung out of this old one — vizL, ' Sir 
James the Boss,' and * Elfrida and Sir James of Perth.' The first of 
these is said to have been written by Michael Brace ; the latter is an 
anonymous production," which seems to have first appeared in Caw^s 
Museum, 1784, and to have subsequently " found its way into Evan's 
Collection, vide voL iv., edit. 1810. It might be curious to ascertain 
which of these moumfal ditties is the semor, were it for nothing else 
than perfectly to enjoy the cool impudence with which the graoelesa 

{youngster has appropriated to itself, without thanks or acknow- 
edgment, all the best things which occur in the other."* — Mother- 
well's Minstrelsy, p. 321. 

Motherwell^s version does not differ materially from Pinkerton's. 

In the " Battle of Harlaw : Traditionary Version," aMe, p. 460, a 
"James the Rose," and a "John the Graeme," both figure as 
combatants on the side of the royal forces ; but we can scarcely 
suppose the cowardly "James the Kose," or the heroic "John the 
Graeme, " of that ballad, to be the parties here celebrated. The ballad 
is placed here because stanza 43 of the modem version refers to the 
principal actors as having fought at Flodden. This, in the absence 
of better data, must therefore serve as our guide as to the period 
when the tragedy occurred. 

In a note to " Sir James the Hose," Mr. Pinkerton states that "a 
renovation of this ballad, composed of new and improbable circum- 
stances, decked out with scraps of tragedies, may be found in tiie 
Anntud Register for 1774, and other collections. 

" Rose is an ancient and honourable name in Scotland. Johnnea 
de Rose is a witness to the famous Charter of Robert IL testifying 
his marriage with EUzaheth More, as appears in the rare edition <3 
it printed at Paris, 1695, 4to, p. Idr—ScoUish Tragic BaUads, 
p. 114. 

The modernized ballad of "The Buchanshire Tragedy; or. Sir 
James the Ross," as referred to by Motherwell and Pmkerton, 
was written by Michael Bmce, and appears "in the Weekly 
Magazine^ or Edinburgh Amusement, voi. iz., Sept. 20^ 1770, 
p. 371. 

* ^e venion ^rMiohael fimoe Is appsrenUy tti9 earlimti ana U is certainly Ij 

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" Prefixed was the following short note : — 

' To the Publisher of the Wedtly Magazine, 

* Sir,— Some days ago I mot with on old Scottish ballad, of which the following is 
fk copy; which, I dare say, you will be willing to preserve from oblivion by giving It 
a place in yonr entertaining AmusemtnU There are few of yonr readers, I am per- 
BDaded, but will bo pleased to see at onoe snoh a specimen of ancient Scottish poetry 
and valonr.'" • 

The ballad was probably communicated, and the note written, by- 
Logan, who, in this same year, issaed a volume of Poems on several 
Occasions, by Michael Bnice, Which volume contained the ballad 
referred to, with several additions, deletions, and other alterations, 
doubtless by Logan himself. 

The ancient ballad, as collated from Finkerton*s and Motherwell's 
versions, is here first ^ven; the orthography of the latter being 
generally adopted. It is followed by the modem version, as written 
by Michael Bruce; while an additional stanza and some variations 
from Logan's edition of 1770 are noted under the text. 

The version by Bruce seems to have superseded the ancient one as a 
chap book; and it ma^r be mentioned that one of these, bearing the 
imprint, "Glasgow, printed by J. and M. Robertson, (No. 20) Salt- 
market, 1809,'° is professedly *< printed from the original manu- 
script;" and that it agrees very closely with Bruce's text as hero 

1 Oh, heard ye of Sir James the Rose, 

The young heir of Baleighau ? 
For he has MlPd a gallant squire, 
Whose friends are out to take him. 

2 Now he has gone to the house of Mar, 

Where none might seek to find him; 
To seek his dear he did repair, 
Thinking she wou'd befriend him. 

3 " Where are ye going, Sir James ? " she said, 

" Or where now are you riding? " 
" Oh, I am bound to a foreign land, 
For now I'm under hiding. 

4 " Where shall I go, where shall I run, 

Where shall I go to lay me? 
For I ha'e kill'd a gallant squire. 
And his friends seek to slay me." 

5 " Oh, go ye down to yon ale-house, 

And ril pay there your lawing ; 
And as I am your leman true, 
I'U meet ye at the dawing." 

• The Worke of Miehad Bruce, edited, with Memoir and Nolos, Iw the Kcv. 
Alexander B. Grosart. Edinburgh, 18C5. 

The infamons conduct of Logan, who afterwards claimed many of tbo best pieces 
Itf his own, is folly diBcnseed and ably exposed by Mr. arosart. 

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6 " ni no gae down to yon ale-house, 

For vou to pay my lawing, 
But I'll lie down upon the bent, 
And bide there till the dawing/' 

7 Ho 's turn'd him right and round about, 

And row'd him in his brechan,* 
And he has gone to take a sloep 
In the lawlands of Baleighan. 

8 He wasna well gone out of sight, 

Nor was he past Millstrethen ' <► 

When four-and-twenty belted knights 
Came riding o'er the Lethan. 

9 " Oh, ha'c yo seen Sir James the Rose, 

The young heir of Baleighan? 

For he has kilPd a gallant s(}U]re, 

And wc are sent to take him." 

10 " Yea, I ha'e seen Sir James," she said, 

" Ho pass'd by here on Monday ; 
If the steed be swift that he rides on. 
He 's past the heights of Luudie." 

1 1 But as witli speed they rod* away, 

She loudly cried behind them, 

" If ye'll give me a worthy meid, f 

I'll tell ye where to find him." 

12 " Oh, tell, fair m&id, and, by our faith, 

Ye'se get his purse and brechan." 
" Seek ye the bank aboon the mill. 
In the lawlands of Baleighan." 

13 They sought the bank aboon the mill. 

In the lawlands of Baleighan, 
And there they found Sir James the Rose, 
Was lying in his brechan. 

14 Then up and spalce Sir John the Graeme, 

Who had the charge in keeping : 
" It shall ne'er bo said, brave gentlemen, 
We kill'd him when a- sleeping." 

15 They seized his broadsword and his targe, 

And closely him surrounded; 
And when he waked out of his sleep. 
His senses were confounded. 

• * Breoluw : " plaid.' f " Mold : ** revard. 

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16 " Rise up, rise up, Sir James," he said, 

" Rise up, since now we've found ye ; 
WeVe ta'en the broadsword frae your side, 
And angry men are round ye." 

17 " Ob, pardon, pardon, gentlemen, 

Ila'e mercy now upon me ! " 
** Such as you ga'e, such shall you ha'e^ 
And so we fall upon thee." 

18 Syne they've ta'en out his bleeding heart, 

And stuck it on a spear; 
Then took it to the house of Mar, 
And show'd it to his dear. 

19 " We cou'dna give Sir James's pursC; 

We cou'dna give his brechan; 
But ye shall ha'o his bleeding heart, 
But and his bleeding tartan." 

20 " Sir James the Rose, oh, for thy sake 

M}' heart is now a-breaking I 
Curs'd be the day I wrought thy wae. 
Thou brave heir of Balcighan!" • 

21 Then up she raise, and forth she gaes, 

And, in that hour of tein. 
She wandered to the dowie glen, 
And n§ver mair was seen. 



1 Of all the Scottish northern chiefs. 

Of high and warlike name. 
The bravest was Sir James the Ross, 
A k&ight of meikle fame. 

2 His growth was as the tufted tir. 

That crowns the mountain's brow;* 

* Brace's poem, *' The Complaint of Nataro/' has a similar line,— 
**0r trees, that crown the mountain's brow." 
And In the eighth of the '* SoripUiral Translations and Paraphrases,'* as used In 
the Presbyterian Churches of Scotland, which "paraphrase" is based on Bruco's 
** Complaint,*' &&, there occurs the same line in stanza 6. 

We note the^e coincidences, as they are somewhat curious, and form "a threefold 
cord " of CQWiection with Bruce. 

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And, waving o'er his shoulderB broad, 
His locks of yellow flew.* 

3 The chieftain of the brave clan Ross, 

A firm undaunted band ; 
Five hundred warriors drew their swords, 
Beneath his high command. 

4 In bloody fight thrice had he stood, 

Against the English keen, 
Ere two-and-twenty opening springs 
This blooming youth had seen. 

5 The fair Matilda dear he loved, 

A maid of beauty rare ; 
Ev'n Margaret, on the Scottish throne, 
Was never half so fair. 

6 Lang had he wooed, lang she refused, 

With seeming scorn and pride ; 
Yet aft her eyes confessed the love 
Her fearful words denied. 

7 At last she blessed his well-tried faith, 

Allow'd his tender claim ; 
She vowM to him her virgin heart, 
And own'd an equal flame. 

8 Her father, Buchan's cruel lord, 

Their passion disapproved ; 
And bade her wed Sir John the Graeme, 
And leave the youth she loved. 

9 A© night they met, as they were wont, 

Deep in a shady wood, 
Where, on a bank beside a bum, 
A blooming saughf tree stood. 

10 ConceaVd among the underwood. 
The crafty Donald lay, 
The brother of Sir John the Graeme, 
To hear what they would say. 

* This stanza follows in Bracers Poems, Logan's edition of 1770:^ 

*♦ "Wde were his fields, his herds were largo, 
And large his flocks of sheep ; 
And nnmerooB were his goats and deer 
Upon tho mountain's steep." 

t "Sangh:" a willow. 

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11 When thus the maid began, — " My sire 

Your passion disapproves, 
And bids me wed Sir John the Graeme ; 
So here must end our loves. 

12 " My father's will must be obeyed ; 

Naught boots me to withstand ; 

Some fairer maid, in beauty's bloom, 

Must bless thee with her baud. 

13 *^ Matilda soon shall be forgot, 

And from thy mind effaced : 
But may that happiness be thine, 
Which I can never taste." 

U ** What do I hear? is this thy vow ?" 
Sir James the Boss replied : 
" And will Matilda wed the Graeme, 
Though sworn to be my bride? 

15 " His sword shall sooner pierce my heart. 
Than reive me of thy charms;" 
Then clasp'd her to his beating breast, 
Fast lock'd into his arms. 

IG "I spake to try thy love," she said ; 
" ril ne'er wed man but thee : 
My grave shall be ray bridal bed, 
Ere Graeme my husband be. 

17 " Take then, dear youth, this faithful kiss. 
In witness of my troth ; 
And every plague become my lot. 
That day I break my oath 1" 

13 They parted thus ; the sun was set; 
Up hasty Donald flies ; 
And — " Turn thee, turn thee, beardless youth I" 
He loud insultiug cries. 

10 Soon tum'd about the fearless chief. 
And soon his sword he drew ; 
For Donald's blade, before his breast. 
Had pierced his tartans through. 

20 " This for my brother's slighted love ; 
His wrongs sit on my arm :" 
Three paces back the youth retired, 
And saved himself &(xe harm. 

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21 Retaming swift, his hand he rear'd, 

Fierce Donald's head aboye, 
And through the brain and crashing bones 
His sharp-edged weapon drove. 

22 He staggering reel'd, then tumbled down, 

A lump of breathless clay : 
" So fall my foesl" quoth valiant Ross, 
And stately strode away. 

23 Through the green wood he quickly hied, 

Unto Lord Buchan's hall ; 
And at Matilda's window stood, 
And thus began to call : 

24 " Art thou asleep, Matilda, dear? 

Awake, my love, awako I 
Thy luckless lover on thee calls, 
A long farewell to take. 

25 " For I have slain fierce Donald Graeme ; 

His blood is on ray sword : 
And distant are my faithful men, 
Nor can assist their lord. 

2G " To Skye Til now direct my way, 
AVhere my two brothers bide. 
And raise the valiant of the Isles, 
To combat on my side." 

27 " Oh, do not so," the maid replied ; 

" With me till morning stay ; 
For dark and dreary is the night, 
And dangerous the way. 

28 " All night I'll watch vou in the park ; 

My faithful page I'll send. 
To run and raise the brave clan Ross, 
Their master to defend.'* 

29 Beneath a bush he laid him down, 

And wrapp'd him in his plaid ; 
While, trembling for her lover's fate, 
At distance stood the maid. 

30 Swift ran the page o'er hill and dale. 

Till, in a lonely glen. 
He met the furious Sir John Graeme, 
With twenty of his men. 

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81 *» Where go*st thou, little page?" ho said; 
" So late, who did thee send ?" 
" I go to raise the brave clan Koss, 
ITicir master to defend. 

32 " For ho hath slain fierce Donald Gracmo, 

Whose blood now dims his sword: 
And far, far distant are his men, 
That should assist their lord." 

33 '* And has he slaiQ my brother dear?" 

The furious Graeme replies : 
" Dishonour blast my name, but ho 
By me, ere morning, dies ! 

34 " Tell me, where is Sir James the Koos? 

I will thee well reward ;" 
" He sleeps into Lord Buchan's park ; 
Matilda is his guard." 

35 They spurred their steeds in furious mood, 

Then scour'd along the lee;* 
And reach 'd Lord Buchau's lofty towVs, 
By dawning of the day. 

36 Matilda stood without the gate, 

To whom the Graeme did 8ay,f — 
** Saw ye Sir James the Ross last night? 
Or did be pass this way ? " 

37 " Last day, at noon," Matilda said, 

" Sir James the Ross pass'd by : 
Ho furious prick'd his sweaty steed, 
And onward fast did hie. 

Do " By this he is at Edinburgh, 

If horse and man hold good." 
** Your page, then, lied, who said ho was 
Now sleeping in the wood." 

♦ " They Fpurr'd Uieir etccds, and fuiioas flew, 

Liko lightning, o'er the lea.*'— Bruce's FotjiUf Loginu'u e ition. 

t " Matilda stood withont the gate, 
Upon a rising ground. 
And watoh'd each object in the dawn, 
All ear to eyery soimd. 

** * Where sleeps the Bofss ? * began the Graeme, 
* Or has the felon fled ? 
TbiB hand shall lay the wretch on earth, 
By whom my brother bled.' "— /friU 

Btansui 87, 8S, 89, and also stann 48, are omitt^ b^ Lonp. 


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39 She wrung her hands, and tore her hair : 

" Brave Ross, thou art betrayed ; 
And ruin'd by those very means, 
From whence I hoped thine aid!" 

40 By this the valiant knight awoke, 

The virgin's shrieks he heard ; 

And up he rose and drew his sword, 

When the fierce band appeared. 

41 " Your sword last night my brother slew ; 

His blood yet dims its shine ; 
And, ere the setting of the sun, 
Your blood shall reek on mine." 

42 " You word it well," the chief repfied ; 

** But deeds approve the man : 
Set by your band, and, hand to hand, 
Well try what valour can. 

43 " Oft boasting hides a coward's heart ; 

My weighty sword you fear, 
Which shone in front of Flodden-field, 
When you kept in the rear." 

44 With dauntless step he forward strode, 

And dared him to the fight; 
But Graeme gave back, and fear'd his arm; 
For well he knew its might 

45 Four of his men, the bravest four, 

Sunk down beneath his sword; 
But still he scom'd the poor revenge, 
And sought their haughty lord. 

46 Behind him basely came the Graeme, 

And pierced him in the side ; 
Out spouting came the purple tide, 
And all his tartans dyed. 

47 But yet his sword quat not the grip. 

Nor dropped he to the ground,* 
Till thro' his enemy's heart his steel 
Had forced a mortal wound. 

48 Graeme, like a tree with wind o'erthrown. 

Fell breathless on the clay; 
And down beside him sank the Boss, 
And faint and dying lay. 

• "Bnt yet hia hand not dropp'd tho sword, 

Vw sack be to Uio grouud."— Bruoe's Poems, Logan's editiOQ. 

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49 Tlie sad Matilda saw him fall : 

" Oh, spare his life 1 " she cried ; 
" Lord Buchan*s daughter begs his life, 
Let her not he deny'd." 

50 Her well-known voice the hero heard; 

He raised his death-closed eyes, 
And fix'd them on the weeping maid, 
And weakly thus replies : 

51 *^ In vain Matilda begs the life, 

By death's arrest deny'd : 
My race is run — adieu, my love ! " — 
Then clos'd his eyes and died. 

62 The sword, yet warm, from his left side 
With frantic hand she drew: 
" I come. Sir James the Ross," she cried ; 
"I come to follow you I** 

53 She loan'd the hilt against the ground, 
And bared her snowy breast ; 
Then fell upon her lover's face, 
And sunk to endless rest. 


From Ramsay's Evergreen, vol. ii., p. 190.